October 10, 2019
Tame Iti celebrity part of international phenomenon
Tūhoe activist Tame Iti is being hailed as a cultural phenomenon in the latest issue of International Journal of Cultural Studies.
New Zealand academics Julie Cupples from the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences and Kevin Glynn, now at Northumbria University, have looked at the way Mr Iti has been represented in the New Zealand media over the past four decades.
That includes Ngā Tamatoa in the 1970s, the protests against the South African rugby tour during the apartheid era, the so-called fiscal envelope, the theatrical enactment of the 1860 scorched-earth policy on the confiscation line in Tāneatua in 2005, and the Urewera terror raids of 2007 that resulted in him serving time in prison for arms charges.
They say he has functioned as a mobilizing media figure for both Māori and Pākehā New Zealanders to engage with the colonial past and present.
He is also part of an international trend in which some indigenous activists have gained celebrity status.
The research was funded by the Marsden Fund of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
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