Whau Conversations: Hikoi


Wednesday 27th November  11 am – 12 pm,
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

Whau Conversations: Hikoi – a walking workshop with artists from Aotearoa/New Zealand in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

Whau Conversations: Hikoi will consist of a collective walk with artists from Aotearoa/New Zealand presenting to and exchanging insights and reflections with participants in relation to the surrounding site they encounter during that walk. The walking event will take place in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria (Melbourne), and focus on the New Zealand section of the gardens, where whau trees endemic to Aotearoa can be seen to grow almost like ‘weeds’ to some. The walk attempts to offer playful reflections alongside political and cultural responses to the artists’ and their participants’ current and former acts of collective walking. More than simply walking, the tactic of engaging in a hikoi will be explored. To hikoi in te reo Māori (the Māori language) is widely considered to walk with a purpose, from educational contexts, to social activities, to art practices, protest campaigns and other contexts. For all of us in this walk we also intend to metaphorically ‘walk backwards into the future’, which is a play on the common Māori proverb ‘ka mua, ka muri’ (walking backwards into the future). This is where while facing forwards in our hikoi, we walk with our tupuna (our ancestors) and our histories who are before us and in facing them and these things through our korero (discussions). We aim to develop new understandings and questions around them in relation to the site in which we are walking in.

Artists walking, presenting and sharing will include Carol Brown (VCA, The University of Melbourne), Christina Houghton (AUT), Alexandra Bonham, Saskia Schut (UTS), Kathy Waghorn (The University of Auckland), Mark Harvey (Mata Waka iwi, The University of Auckland) and guests. 

Hikoi conveners: Kathy Waghorn (The University of Auckland) and Mark Harvey (Mata Waka iwi, the University of Auckland)

This walk will also have a follow up paper session during the conference – details will be available in the conference program.

Please email Mary.Dixon@Deakin.edu.au for a map and further details of the walk.

This event is part of the Walking and Talking Public Pedagogies conference, taking place on November 28-29 at the Footscray Nicholson Street Campus of Victoria University. REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE HERE

Featured image: Drop Kick (collaboration with John Court and Mark Harvey) ANTI Contemporary Art Festival, Finland, 2018