Māori, Somali & Artistic communities meet through a celebration of art
23 Feb 2011
“When you get to the country that offers you permanent residence then that is the end of that label of refugee. You got a country. You are no longer a refugee. I am not stateless. I’ve got a country. I’ve got a home, where I belong to. It’s New Zealand.” - Adam Awad, Somali Council
Over the last two years, more than 400 people involved in the Māori, Somali and artistic communities of South Wellington have worked together to find common threads and ways of examining some of the challenges they face. Crossing Lines - a professional theatre show backed by an exhibition - has emerged from the process involved in bringing these communities together.
Creative New Zealand funded Crossing Lines as part of their strategic priorities, which ask that work fosters intercultural engagement and involves New Zealand communities in participating and developing the arts.
Crossing Lines is part of the Southern Corridor Project by Eko. Eko have developed a model that engages directly with individuals and groups involved in Māori and Somali communities and folds their contributions, feedback and questions into the work so that it strongly references the process and all the people involved.
Four young actors – two Somali, two Māori – will bring to life relationships and questions that have emerged from the interplay and dialogue between the communities in an hour-long theatre performance.
The show flows from the exhibition space, beginning with larger-than-life projections and shadow imagery and moving into to intimate and personal poetics as the audience physically travels through time, space and culture.
“What is it between me and the land, what is it between me and a tree, what’s it between me and you... Where is the point of balance?” - Bruce Stewart
The exhibition is an interactive installation of voice and image representing the 400 people who have been part of the project over the last two years. Ranging from school children from Berhampore School, South Wellington Intermediate, Wellington East Girls and Rongotai College through to the Wellington Tenths Trust and the Somali Council, people's stories are shown as both special and universal in their attitude to land, identity and relationships.
“Somali people, or refugee people in general, stress their culture so much, because of that fear of losing it.” - Umulkheir Amiin, Actor
“Where to from here? How can we take our youth with us to go forward, to reclaim, to be proud?” - Catherine Love, Wellington Tenths Trust
What: Crossing Lines
Where: 70 Cable St, Wellington (opposite Te Papa)
Dates: Wed 9 – Sun 20 March 2011
Exhibition: 10.30am – 5.30pm, free entry
Performances: 6pm & 8.30pm. No show Monday. Tickets $5 children, $10
concession, $20 waged
Booking: 04 384-9988 or email us