Ka Mua Ka Muri: Inspiring climate resilience through creativity

The left side of the image shows Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation and on the right side shows the Toi Āria team.

Toi Āria team at a family’s Gisborne home (one year ago post Cyclone Gabrielle’s devastation) and today.

A collaborative week-long event in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Cyclone Gabrielle’s impact aims to ignite a resilient future through a fusion of art, design, music and storytelling.

Ka Mua Ka Muri runs from February 9 to 16 in communities around the Tairāwhiti region and is the result of a partnership between Toi Āria: Design for Public Good, a centre for social impact design at Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, and Te Weu Charitable Trust.

The free event includes a two-day research symposium, community hui focusing on local research conducted across the past year and a creative collaboration and exhibition relating to regional climate and community initiatives.

A collection of creative minds have lent their expertise and passion to the climate resilience projects, with the aim of using their creativity to elevate extreme weather preparedness discussions and support local groups actively engaged in sustainable land use and adaptation planning.

The guest participants are a mix of visiting creatives and local artists, writers and designers who have been matched with more than a dozen local community initiatives and projects. The weekend will see the teams work together through workshopping ideas, creative expression and the production of artistic works, culminating in a public exhibition and performance event at Midway Community Hub at 6pm, Sunday 11 February.

Head of Toi Āria Professor Anna Brown says she felt compelled to take action to support Tairāwhiti after witnessing the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle on her family.

“I wasn’t quite sure how to help but using my design skills and networks to get alongside some of the amazing communities of Tairāwhiti feels like a tangible way to support a region that still has a long way to go in the recovery journey.”

While it remains to be seen what will be created across the weekend, Professor Brown says she’s looking forward to the process and outcomes.

“We are bringing some of the country’s top creative talent, including a jazz singer, a cartoonist, a multimedia designer, a social media expert and a number of creative writers and journalists to jump into creative processes with Tairāwhiti’s artists and communities.”

Other Massey whānau involved include Senior Lecturer in the School of Design David Cook, School of Art Lecturer Johnathan Kay, Toi Āria Designer and Illustrator Jean Donaldson and Toi Āria Junior Designer Hanna Breurkes.

Find out more about the event here.
The original article and a full list of guest participants were published in Massey News

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Toi Rauwhārangi
College of Creative Arts
Wellington, Aotearoa