Birgit Krippner

Photographer
    
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Nationality: Austrian
Biography: Availabe for assignments in New Zealand and abroad. . birgit@birgitkrippner.com Born in Austria, Birgit Krippner has lived in New Zealand since 2003. Her specialty is capturing candid images using only available light. She often works in low... read on
Public Story
Tame Iti, A Māori activist
Credits: birgit krippner
Date of Work: 04/16/14 - Ongoing
Updated: 07/16/17

This ongoing project comprises photographs during Krippner’s regular visits with Ngāi Tūhoe a Māori iwi (“tribe”) of New Zealand, also known as “the children of the mist”.

Tame Iti, the high profile Tūhoe Māori activist and artist, which was exhibited at Suite Gallery in New Zealand in February 2015, and in San Francisco at the Harvey Milk Photography Center, in April 2015. ITI – the Tūhoe meaning of which is “humble or in the background”.

During the colonial period the Crown confiscated Te Urewera, Tūhoe’s ancestral homeland in the eastern North Island. In the 20th century the Tūhoe people suffered extreme social deprivation – ravaged by famine and disease. Especially hard hit were the children — school records from the 1920s and 1930s show that 75% of those who died were less than 25 years old.

Despite this adversity, the Tūhoe people have demonstrated the mana (“indestructible spiritual power”) to preserve their Māori identity like few other iwi — including the continued and uninterrupted use of their native language by a very high percentage of their population.

Krippner’s photos in this exhibition document a very important time in Tuhoe’s history. Tūhoe’s 2014 treaty settlement with the Crown returned Te Urewera, the spiritual home of the Tūhoe people, and marks the transition from grievance to a future promising greater opportunity and
self-determination.

Krippner’s photographs provide an intimate lens on Tame Iti, the Tuhoe people and Te Urewera, and serves as a document of the promise of new beginnings.

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