March 22, 2023
Iti takes cultural revolution back to China
Activist and artist Tame Iti is making a special return trip to China 50 years after he was part of a Maori delegation in the middle of the Cultural Revolution.
He says the first trip was arranged by the general secretary of the New Zealand Communist Party, Vic Wilcox, after he set up a Maori embassy in a tent on parliament grounds in 1972.
The star of the delegation was Communist Party member and poet Hone Tuwhare, and also included forestry worker Willie Wilson and fellow Nga Tamatoa member Taitimu Maipi.
This time Iti’s supplying the culture, with his I Will Not Speak Maori sculptures and paintings being shown in Shanghai during September, and he’ll be accompanied by Mr Maipi.
Tame Iti says the trip is timed so they’ll be there for China’s national day on October 1, the anniversary of the declaration of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.