“Taunaha Whenua: Naming the Land”, a Matariki Kōrero from Honiana Love

Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau! Nau mai, haere mai ki te whakarongo ki tēnei kōrero. This matariki, we are proud to present a kōrero from Honiana Love about the significance of place names around Pōneke.

Honiana Love, Kaiāwhina Tumu Whakarae, Ngā Taonga Sound. Photo credit: Stephen A’Court.

Matariki is a powerful time of reflection, and there’s no better time than now to learn more about the history of Aotearoa.

Ngā Taonga, The National Library and Wellington City Libraries are proud to present Honiana Love’s kōrero “Taunaha Whēnua: Naming the Land”, at the National Library, on 16 July at 1230pm.

Honiana is Tumu Whakarae / Chief Executive of Ngā Taonga, and she will be discussing how names like Owhiro, Pipitea and Kaitoa have much to tell us about the gardens, swamps and food-gathering areas which have stood where we stand today.

This event is a free presentation of Ngā Taonga, The National Library of New Zealand and Wellington City Libraries. All are welcome, and the event will be recorded and shared at a later date.

“Taunaha Whēnua: Naming the Land” is part of Wellington City Libraries’ #purapurawhetu Matariki festival. You can learn more here about our other events, for tamariki and their whānau, these school holidays.

Purapura Whetū: Matariki Resources for Pākeke

The Māori New Year is now upon us – and although the rain is pouring and the tornadoes are twisting and turning, there is still a time for rest after the harvesting of the crops, physical or otherwise; a time for reflecting on our tūpuna who have passed on; a time to reflect on the effects of Covid-19; and a time to rejoice in precious taonga – be they whānau or otherwise, or just plan for a better life ahead.

Te Kāhui whetū o Matariki the stars of matariki
Te Kāhui whetū o Matariki

There are many tohu, or signs, that mark the coming of the new year. Māori of the West Coast of New Zealand aren’t able to view the rising of Matariki, low down on the eastern horizon at this time of the year. So we, in Taranaki and Wellington, turn to Puanga (Rigel, of Orion’s constellation), to mark the Māori New Year. But it is to Matariki that most people look, and although Matariki is a cluster of many stars, we commonly talk about it in terms of the worldwide star story of the Seven Sisters.


Even today, more is being learnt about Matariki. Recently, Dr. Rangi Mātāmua rediscovered a manuscript of his tupuna’s which added two extra stars, Pōhutukawa and Hiwaiterangi, to the kāhui whetū– making up a cluster of nine stars of Matariki. You can learn more about Dr. Mātāmua’s work here. If you’re looking for more information, you can also start with Qiane Matata-Sipu’s Spinoff piece from last year, which has wonderful background on ngā whetū, as well as the kaupapa of the new year around the motu.

Our eLibrary collection includes a wide range of resources about Matariki, Te Ao Māori and the history of Aotearoa. To celebrate Matariki, we have collated a list of these titles, called “He Matatiki: Matariki Reads from Te Ao Māori”. Make sure to have a look through all the treasures in this kete! You can also find more information about Te Ao Māori, whakapapa research and the history of Te Whanganui a Tara in the Māori Resources section of our website.

Throughout these school holidays, we are presenting a range of Matariki activities for tamariki and whānau, as part of our #purapurawhetu Matariki festival. These range from crafting to storytimes, and include activities in both Te Reo Māori and English. You can learn more about our #purapurawhetu programme here. Check our calendar for all the events.

Nō reira, nau mai haere mai ki ōu tātou whare pukapuka ki te whakanui i a Matariki! Come along and celebrate Matariki with Wellington City Libraries!

Me mihi ka tika mātou ki a Ann, i tuku āwhina i ēnei mahi. Thanks and mihi to Ann for her help in putting together these resources!

#WinterWarmers Queer Film Fest 2020 Part Two- Features

As International Pride Month draws to a close and the weather outside gets a little colder, there’s no better time to snuggle up, sip a warm beverage, and enjoy some excellent queer cinema from around the world.

Your WCL membership provides access to streaming video services, which host a cornucopia of cinematic delights. You can find out more about how to access these online video options on our eLibrary page.

In the first edition of our #WinterWarmers Queer Film Fest, our staff collated some of our favourite documentaries. Now, in part two, we share our picks of the finest fictional features from around the world. Part one, our selection of documentaries , is right here.


BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Year: 2017
Length: 143 Minutes
Directors: Robin Campillo



Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Winner of over 20 international film awards, including the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, BPM is the remarkable new film from Robin Campillo (They Came Back, Eastern Boys). In Paris in the early 1990s, a group of activists goes to battle for those stricken with HIV/AIDS, taking on sluggish government agencies and major pharmaceutical companies in bold, invasive actions. The organization is ACT UP, and its members, many of them gay and HIV-positive, embrace their mission with a literal life-or-death urgency. Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, the newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand, and their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for a breakthrough.-Kanopy


Watermelon Woman

Year: 1996
Length: 86 Minutes
Director: Cheryl Dunye

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Cheryl Dunye plays a version of herself in this witty, nimble landmark of New Queer Cinema. A video store clerk and fledgling filmmaker, Cheryl becomes obsessed with the “most beautiful mammy,” a character she sees in a 1930s movie. Determined to find out who the actress she knows only as the “Watermelon Woman” was and make her the subject of a documentary, she starts researching and is bowled over to discover that not only was Fae Richards (Lisa Marie Bronson) a fellow Philadelphian but also a lesbian. The project is not without drama as Cheryl’s singular focus causes friction between her and her friend Tamara (Valarie Walker) and as she begins to see parallels between Fae’s problematic relationship with a white director and her own budding romance with white Diana (fellow filmmaker Guinevere Turner).-Kanopy


52 Tuesdays

Year:2013
Length: 110 Minutes
Director: Sophie Hyde



Watch the full film here on Beamafilm.

Directed by Sophie Hyde (Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure), the Australian filmmaker who won the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, 52 Tuesdays is centered on the relationship between James (Del Herbert-Jane), a mother undergoing gender transition, and their precocious teenage daughter Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey). Looking forward to starting their gender transition but wary of how the process might affect their daughter, James asks Billie to move in with her father Tom (played by Beau Travis Williams). To make up for the abrupt separation, mother and daughter make a commitment to meet every Tuesday afternoon, no matter what. As the year progresses, James and Billie watch each other change in ways that sometimes threaten their once-unshakable relationship. As both individuals explore deep personal issues and struggle to remain connected, a complex tale of human desire and ultimately, physical and psychological transformation, emerges.-Beamafilm


Happy Together

Year:1997
Length: 93 Minutes
Director: Kar-Wai Wong



Watch the full film here on Beamafilm.

Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing arrive in Argentina from Hong Kong and take to the road for a holiday. Something is wrong and their relationship goes adrift. A disillusioned Yiu-Fai starts working at a tango bar to save up for his trip home. When a beaten and bruised Po-Wing reappears, Yiu-Fai is empathetic but is unable to enter a more intimate relationship. After all, Po-Wing is not ready to settle down. Yiu-Fai now works in a Chinese restaurant and meets the youthful Chang from Taiwan. Yiu-Fai’s life takes on a new spin, while Po-Wing’s life shatters continually in contrast.-Beamafilm


Circumstance

Year:2011
Length: 102 Minutes
Director: Maryam Keshavarz



Watch the full film here on Beamafilm.

Maryam Keshavarz’s lusty, dreamy take on the passionate teenagers behind the hijabs. Risking jail and worse are the sassy, privileged Atafeh and the beautiful, orphaned Shireen. They’re under constant, unnerving surveillance, in a country where more than 70 percent of the population is younger than 30. Nevertheless, within their mansion walls and without, beneath graffiti and undulating at intoxicating house parties, the two girls begin to fall in love with each other, as Atafeh’s handsome, albeit creepy older brother Mehran gazes on… Filmed underground in Beirut, with layers that permit both pleasure and protest.-Beamafilm


Geography Club

Year:2013
Length: 80 Minutes
Director: Gary Entin



Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Based on Brent Hartinger’s best-selling critically acclaimed novel, Geography Club is a smart, fast, and funny account of contemporary teenagers as they discover their own sexual identities, dreams, and values. While finding the truth too hard to hide, they all decide to form the Geography Club thinking nobody else would ever want to join. However, their secrets may soon be discovered and they could have to face the choice of revealing who they really are. -Kanopy


We hope you enjoy our selection of fine feature films! Part One, our selection of documentaries , is right here. Stay warm!

#WinterWarmers Queer Film Fest 2020 Part One- Documentaries

A person holding a rainbow flag in front of their body and face.

As International Pride Month draws to a close and the weather outside gets a little colder, there’s no better time to snuggle up, sip a warm beverage, and enjoy some excellent queer cinema from around the world.

Your WCL membership provides access to streaming video services, which host a cornucopia of cinematic delights. You can find out more about how to access these online video options on our eLibrary page.

In this first edition of our #WinterWarmers Queer Film Fest, our staff have collated some of our favourite documentaries. Stay tuned for part two, later this week, when we will share our picks of the finest fictional features from around the world.


Georgie Girl

Year: 2002
Length: 70 Minutes
Directors: Annie Goldson and Peter Wells

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Georgina Beyer is a transgender woman and former sex-worker who was elected to the New Zealand Government by a largely white, rural electorate. Georgie Girl traces Georgina Beyer’s colorful path — her rural past, born as George and raised on a farm, through periods of drug use and sex work, to her election in 1999 into national office under Labour Government headed by Helen Clark. Georgina, who is of Māori descent, has been an inspiration to many, an example of a courageous individual who overcame adversity, marginalization and discrimination.-Kanopy


The Early Works of Cheryl Dunye

Year: 1994
Length: 72 Minutes
Director: Cheryl Dunye

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Vilified by conservatives in Congress, defended by major newspapers, and celebrated by audiences and festivals around the world as one of the most provocative, humorous and important filmmakers of our time, Cheryl Dunye practically invented a new form of cinema – call it the ‘Dunyementary.’ Presented here are the films that started it all – the early works which gave birth to an extraordinary and original filmmaking talent. Made with great creativity on often miniscule budgets, they represent the first chapter of the Cheryl Dunye oeuvre. Films in this collection include Greetings from Africa, The Potluck and the Passion, An Untitled Portrait, Vanilla Sex, She Don’t Fade, and Janine.-Kanopy


I Am Not Your Negro

Year:2016
Length: 93 Minutes
Director: Raoul Peck

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm.

Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck (The Man by the Shore, Moloch Tropical, Murder in Pacot), returns with a transcendent documentary examining the life and work of literary iconoclast and queer icon James Baldwin. The Oscar-nominated “I Am Not Your Negro” is based on Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember This House”, a stirring, personal account of the lives and deaths of his friends and US Civil Rights Movement leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Through these accounts, Baldwin’s considered yet razor-sharp activism bears witness to the impact and legacy of race in America, which forms the focus of Peck’s cinematic dissection of the enduring effects of social and racial inequality.-Beamafilm


Tales of the Waria

Year:2011
Length: 57 Minutes
Director: Kathy Huang

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Indonesia is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. It is also home to the “warias,” a community of biological men who live openly as women. In this eye-opening documentary, four warias search for romance and intimacy. They encounter a host of obstacles– family pressures, economic burdens, aging– but strive to stay true to themselves and to find lasting companionship. Shot over three years with the local queer community serving as story consultants and film crew members, the film provides an unprecedented look into topics rarely discussed in Western media: Indonesia, Islamic culture, and the daily life and struggles of transgender communities around the world.-Kanopy


Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw

Year:2015
Length: 58 Minutes
Director: Rick Goldsmith

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.

Mind/Game’s portrait of “the female Michael Jordan,” from troubled family life to basketball superstardom, reveals a long-hidden battle with mental illness. But even as Holdsclaw begins to embrace her emotional challenges and emerge as an outspoken mental health advocate, she encounters new obstacles to her own recovery. Narrated by Glenn Close.-Kanopy


Kumu Hina

Year:2014
Length: 77 Minutes
Director: Dean Hamer

Watch the full film here on Kanopy.
Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i. During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a native Hawaiian mahu, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe. But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams? An incredible docu-drama that unfolds like a narrative film, Kumu Hina reveals a side of Hawai’i rarely seen on screen. -Kanopy


Stay tuned for our selection of fictional features, coming later this week. Stay warm!