Talking about our Home, Land and Sea
Hui discussion leader statement
About the Session
- A village in India plants 111 trees for each girl born, nurturing both to realize their potential…
- Peaceful direct action stalls the building of a dam (for now) and saves the majestic Areng Valley in Cambodia, home to one of the largest forests in the region and home to the Chong indigenous community – intimately bound by their spiritual connection to the natural landscape that surrounds them and their forest deities called neak ta who inhabit and protect the forest and waterways of the valley.
- For 10 years, the Shell oil and gas behemoth has endeavoured to bring ashore a pipeline from the Atlantic into the heart-stopping beauty of Ireland’s County Mayo seaboard. And for 10 years, local people whose ancestors farmed the land and fished the ocean have been determined to stop it. The struggle has become an epic clash between the Goliath that is Shell, backed by the Irish police, and a group assembled around the umbrella protest group Shell to Sea.
- In Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand, a man climbs a 3-500 year old kauri to protest its demise alongside a similarly aged rimu. The community had rallied for several days protesting the destruction of the trees. The tree climber’s actions saved the day… for now … but at what cost?*
*Note: A second climber had to evacuate after the property owner ordered security guards to ringbark both the kauri and the rimu. Attempyts are being made to save the tree using traditional rongoa and western poultices. It will be some time before it will be known if the treatment is successful.
Around the world, people are doing what they can to stop the juggernaut created by corporate greed, commercialization, government actions and by force, seriously damaging our waterways, our forests, our ecology, our homes and livelihoods and, importantly, the wairua, the sacred, traditional and ceremonial connections, continuing cultural genocide in a new colonization agenda.
Addressing the issues requires a new decolonised protest action that encompasses tangata whenua, environmental awareness, and creativity. The question is: What does this look like and how do we achieve the stated aims to shut down this new colonial agenda?
The Kauri Project links artists with scientists, iwi and others working with kauri (a nationally significant tree species under threat), utilising art as a tool for research, education and activism to assist in raising awareness and discussion about kauri as a national taonga, and prompting positive solutions and action about kauri dieback disease.
The Project is the interaction between different knowledge systems including science, Mātauranga Māori, history and art, with the anticipation that through these interactions, more effective discussion and understanding can be achieved.
Title acknowledgment: Trinity Roots / Home, Land and Sea, 2004
Chris McBride is a New Zealand based creative provocateur, with a lifetime involvement in issues-based collectivist/collaborative arts through a kaupapa based on action/praxis. His process involves participatory arts, design and screen printing to promote community empowerment, togetherness and freedom. He is a member of the Wellington Media Collective, and was co-curator and co-producer of the retrospective exhibition of the Collectives’ collected works exhibited at Victoria University, Wellington 2012, AUT St Paul St Gallery, Auckland 2014, Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku Mangere 2015 and Govett Brewster-Len Lye Centre , New Plymouth (closing 3 April 2016). He was co-producer and co-designer of “We Will Work With You”, a 240 page book about the social, political and design history of the Collective.
While Manager of the McCahon House Trust (2009-2012) he was responsible for liaison and support for ten artists-in-residence per year and management of the Colin McCahon house museum.
Chris is co-curator/co-producer for The Kauri Project dedicated to linking artists with scientists, iwi and others working with kauri (a nationally significant tree species under threat), considering the potential of art as a tool for research, education and activism to assist in raising awareness and discussion about kauri as a national taonga, and prompting positive solutions and action about kauri dieback disease. The project is the interaction between different knowledge systems including science, Mātauranga Māori, history and art, with the anticipation that through these interactions, more effective discussion and understanding can be achieved. Exhibitions, events and educational projects have been held and/or underway.