The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom held it’s Pacific regional meeting in Auckland, and along with Peace Movement Aotearoa they sponsored a screening on Friday, April 25th at Auckland University Tech in downtown Auckland.
This is a 100- year old organization that was established during WW1, and their interest in Noho Hewa is something to take notice of because they are serious activists with an international reach.
It was an honor to be a part of the 3-day long gathering, and being there with the film was an opportunity to highlight the occupation of Hawaii; I was surprised to find that most of the attendees were unaware of the illegal occupation of Hawaii and grateful that they embraced the message of the film.
Closing remarks by the organizers included the following:
“Militarisation in the past has caused the colonisation of countries which are still under domination,” said Roti Make from WILPF Polynesia section. She specified Hawai’i under the USA, Rapanui under Chile, French Polynesia/Te Ao Maohi, Kanaky (New Caledonia), Wallis and Futuna annexed under France, and West Papua under Indonesia.”
It’s great that this international gathering of activists and scholars now have Hawaii on their list of countries under occupation. They also took an interest in RIMPAC for the first time, which is another issue they can discuss throughout their network.
PEACE MOVEMENT AOTEAROA is a national network for peace, social justice and human rights. Edwina Hughes, featured in the center of this photo, is largely responsible for the goings-on at PMA, and she organized my tour. Together ,with Teresia Teaiwa, professor of Pacific Studies at Victoria University, they planned for screenings of Noho Hewa and my participation at this conference on the “Military Occupation and Military Bases” panel with the other 3 wahine featured in this photo.
The trip to Wellington was truly inspiring. Mahalo nui to Maria Bargh, professor in Maori Studies at Victoria University, for hosting my stay there. Maria is an accomplished scholar (Editor of Maori and Parliament: Diverse Strategies and Compromises; Resistance: An Indigenous Response to Neoliberalism), and she’s a commentator on TVNZ. She’s also a mother of two beautiful, brilliant little boys.
Emalani Case is a PhD student at Victoria University in Pacific Studies. Her dissertation is about Hawaiki, and from what she shared with me it sounds like it will be a moving, powerful depiction of Hawaiian thought and cultural/psychological landscape of our sense of origin and expression.
Emalani and I had also had a couple of really good talk-stories about what’s happening here in Hawaii, politically and culturally. She’s an inspiration and I suspect she will be an influence in our community for a long time to come. She also spoke eloquently at the end of the q&a at the screening. So mahalo nui to her for the kind words of kokua in olelo Hawaii and in english– truly appreciated.
It was great to have another oiwi in the house at the screening, which took place at the National Film Archive; mahalo nui to Oscar Halberg, the projectionist who made my film look beautiful, and to manager, Mark Sweeney.