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Emma Barnes-Wetere


Ngāti Maniapoto


Nayland College




Tēnei ahau (Here I am)




This self portrait aims to make a point about the erasure of Māori women from mainstream media who are subsequently pushed into the background. 

For me, this image is both an empowering celebration of indigenous beauty and a reminder of how indigenous narratives are often hidden or untold.  Brown women like myself are often under represented or misrepresented in the meida, therefore this work aims to show how the pākehā perception of indigenous beauty is often blurred by our brown skin, which some fail to accept as beautiful or see past. 

I am proud of my Māori ancestry, but I am still overcoming the shame and stigma Māori women face in Aotearoa for our indigenous bodies. Tēnei ahau.

Ahakoa he kura auraki tēnei, he nui ngā tikanga Māori arā, ko te manaakitanga, whakakotahitanga hoki.  Ko tēnei te kaupapa matua o tēnei whakaahua.


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