NUKU series amplifying the indigenous female voice

By Jessica Tyson
Qiane Matata-Sipu. Source: NUKU, Facebook.

Māori photographer Qiane Matata-Sipu is set to launch NUKU, a creative storytelling series about “kickass indigenous women doing things differently”.

Part of a wider social and creative movement to elevate indigenous women, the audio-visual series will profile 100 wāhine through podcast and portrait imagery.

Matata-Sipu, of Te Wai o Hua, Waikato-Tainui, Ngā Puhi and Cook Island descent, recently shared her plans with Te Kāea.

“It’s going to stretch me and challenge me in quite a few ways,” she said.

“It’s going to really push my photography creatively because I’m going to have to create 100 quite different portraits that represent each of these individual wāhine.”

She said NUKU is focussed on changing the narrative, amplifying the indigenous female voice.

 “I think that’s really, really important in the society that we’re living in today, she said.

“We’re not short of really fantastic wāhine both in the urban and rural sectors doing really amazing things, so I don’t think it’s going to hard for me to find 100 women.”

She said each woman will be profiled through a podcast and photoshoot.

“Then after 25 women, we’re going to do collectors addition print magazine, and then at the end of the 100 we’re going to do a full exhibition of the entire series, says the photographer.

“It will be led by, made by, made for indigenous women. No tane allowed.”

The launch will place on January 21 at the Māngere Arts Centre. It will include performances, tā moko and tatau, rongoā Māori, live music and a preview of the first 10 wāhine in the series.