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Photo by Andrea Cosgrove

Toi Rangatahi - ‘Identity - Young women of Aotearoa’

Andrea Cosgrove —

A group of girls from the bilingual class participated in a very worthwhile workshop as part of Bernadine and Talia’s project working with young Māori and Pasifika girls in Christchurch to explore identity. They believe theatre is a powerful tool to help young people navigate their identities and feel connected.

The workshop involved a series of theatre based activities that helped the students talk about themselves and understand themselves and others better. There was much laughter and many tears and in their final reflection the girls spoke movingly about how they got to know their classmates better. The presenters were impressed by the girls' openness, bravery, and resilience.

The project ‘Identity - Young women of Aotearoa’ aims to:

  • Aid the affirmation and navigation of identity for young Māori and Pasifika women through performance.

  • Provide a place of safety for young women to express their understanding of their identity and culture through theatre.

  • Address the stigmas around Māori and Pasifika identities (specifically female) and how we can change these narratives.

  • Tautoko young women in discovering their mana and mauri through a collective process of dialogue.