CFP: Ka Haka Māori and Indigenous Performance Studies Symposium

Sharon MazerCall for papers

It’s About The Land!
Ka Haka: Māori and Indigenous Performance Studies Symposium
14-15 November 2019

The Cultural Conservancy (San Francisco);
Te Ara Poutama (Faculty of Māori & Indigenous Development, Auckland University of Technology); Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga (NZ Māori Centre of Research Excellence, University of Auckland)

Sara Moncada (The Cultural Conservancy):
Sharon Mazer (Te Ara Poutama):

Call for Proposals
The Cultural Conservancy, in collaboration with Te Ara Poutama and Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, invites proposals for papers and other presentations for Ka Haka 2019 – the third Māori and Indigenous Performance Studies Symposium.

Indigenous performance often serves to embody and convey power: social, cultural, political, personal, and ecological. In this, we attribute power to performance, and we see performance as potentially empowering of Indigenous people(s) in terms that are both affirmational and activist. As Diana Taylor fervently argues in Presente! (PMLA 2018), performance reverberates and accumulates: ‘making presence, making memory, making space for alternative visions of livable lives’ (489). Performance calls the land into being, and ourselves upon it. In Aotearoa New Zealand, we recognise the significance of tūrangawaewae (a place to stand) as something as something maintained on marae and also performed on stages such as Te Matatini, the biannual Kapa Haka festival. In the USA, we see the protests at Standing Rock and the Berkeley Shellmound, for example, as providing paradigmatic platforms for the meeting of the performative with the political. Through performance, local, national, and global Indigenous movements find ways to take a stand on the land, to claim sovereignty, to assert a rightful place in history, marking the present as a culmination of the past in order to transform the future.

For Ka Haka 2019, we ask participants to stake a position in a conversation about the relationship between performance, power and land in the development of Māori and Indigenous identities and communities. What might it mean to perform the act of taking a stand on the land? What can contemporary Indigenous performance make present for us: socially, culturally, politically, personally, ecologically? How, that is, is performance performative – constructive of memory and identity, of time and place? How does performance re-connect Indigenous peoples to the land? Conversely, how might performance serve to un-settle the colonial identification with and attachment to land? As the climate shifts and with it the earth on which we stand, how can Indigenous performance in the 21st century be seen to touch on commonalities across the differences and particularities of cultures, peoples and places worldwide? As we gather our acts of performance, bringing our words and dances into the Ka Haka meeting space, how can we come together in celebration, rise from our own places into a place of unification?

Ramaytush Ohlone Territory, The Presidio of San Francisco, California, USA, Turtle Island

• Deadline for proposals (250 words max): 30 April 2019
• Invitations to present: 31 May 2019
• Commitments from participants: 30 June 2019