Diego and Frida: A smile in the middle of the way – exhibition and events

South Library will play host to a stunning exhibition of photos of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera from Friday 26 October to Sunday 11 November.

Diego and Frida: A Smile in the Middle of the Way takes an intimate look at the life and relationship between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, as seen through the lens of some of the most notable photographers of that time, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Ansel Adams, Guillermo Kahlo, Leo Matiz, Nickolas Muray, Edward Weston, and Guillermo Zamora. The documentary prints in the exhibition come from the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, encompassing nearly twenty-five years of their marriage.

Diego Rivera became a legend in his native country for his vibrant murals while Frida Kahlo chose to become a painter after a car crash derailed her dream of becoming a doctor. A Smile in the Middle of the Way was presented for the first time at Casa Estudio Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City in 2002 and later around the world. This exhibition has been brought to New Zealand by the Mexican Embassy and will be hosted by Christchurch City Libraries.

Schedule of Events

Dia de Muertos: Day of the Dead

There will be a Dia de Muertos / Day of the Dead altar and informational display at South Library from Friday 26 October to Friday 2 November, and you can celebrate Dia de Muertos with a Mexican themed bilingual Spanish/English storytimes session:

Find out more about Dia de Muertos: Day of the Dead.

More about Frida and Diego

Find resources about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in our collection.

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FAB FESTA – My five picks for FESTA 2018

We love FESTA! This Labour weekend “vibrant biennial celebration of urban creativity and community” is one of Ōtautahi’s most cool and unique events. It’s food for the mind, eyes, and soul. That is particularly apt in 2018 as FESTA gets foody – FESTA 2018 is all about architecture, design – and food. Contribute to the Pledgeme FESTA2018 by midday today (Thursday 27 September) and you’ll help the traditional Saturday evening mega-event street party FEASTA! be the best yet.

There are more than 55 events planned for FESTA 2018, here are some of my picks:

FEASTA

The big FREE street party is on Saturday 20 October from 5 to 11pm. It’s a FESTA tradition to activate different parts of the city, and this time Mollett Street (which runs between Colombo Street and Durham Street South) is the place to be.

There will be the stunning installations we’ve come to love at the FESTA party. The 2018 works have been created by more than 130 design and architecture students from across Australia and New Zealand, as well as NZIA and NZILA Canterbury branch members, in collaboration with Creative Director Barnaby Bennett. There will be loads of whānau fun, music, performances, art, markets, and plenty of yummy delights. One of the excellent initiatives on the night is Kono for Kai100 hand woven harakeke kono (small food baskets) filled with native plant seedlings and seeds will be available to the public in exchange for a koha of kai (non-perishable goods only please). All koha received will be gifted to a community group for distribution to those in need in the community. Read all about it.

FESTA at Tūranga

Ka rawe! Your new central library Tūranga will be open when FESTA is on, and it is the venue for:

Produce a City

Saturday 20 October and Sunday 21 October 1 to 4pm; Monday 22 October (Labour Day), 10am to 1pm at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū
Pop in to this drop-in session and make a cityscape out of food! Use the colourful clay provided to sculpt a house or a building in the shape of fruit and vegetables and add it to the map. Suitable for children aged 7+. FREE

Last Call: Christchurch’s Drinking and Dining Past

Sunday 21 October 6pm to 7.30pm. Meet at Victoria Square. FREE.
Take a trip back in time and explore our culinary past. Join Nik Mavromatis as he hosts a guided walking tour around central Christchurch, starting with Ōtautahi’s oldest market square. Nik then takes you to former hospitality sites and reminisces over the cafes, bars and restaurants that were previously part of the fabric of our city.

This is a mere taster, visit the FESTA 2018 to explore all the events on offer.

FESTA information

How you can help

Contribute to the Pledgeme FESTA2018 by midnight tonight Thursday 27 September.

Take a look back at the awesomeness of FESTA

FESTA 2016 – Lean Means

FESTA 2014 – CityUps

CityUps - FESTA Festival of Transitional Architecture

FESTA 2013 – Canterbury Tales

Canterbury Tales - FESTA

FESTA 2012 – LuxCity

Luxcity

Read our 2016 interview with FESTA director Jessica Halliday: Imagining a different Christchurch – Jessica Halliday and FESTA 2016

庆祝2018年新西兰中文周Celebrations in New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2018

New Zealand Chinese Language Week is a Kiwi-driven initiative aiming at encouraging New Zealanders to discover Chinese language and culture. It was officially launched by Raymond Huo as a sitting Member of Parliament on 24 May 2014. This year New Zealand Chinese Language Week is on from 23 to 29 September. Explore all the events in the nationwide celebration during New Zealand Chinese Language Week.

New Zealand Chinese Language Week Celebrations at Shirley and Hornby Libraries

Coincidentally, Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival on 24 September and Confucius’ Birthday on 28 September fall during this year’s New Zealand Chinese Language Week. Christchurch City Libraries is collaborating with the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury to celebrate the two events.

Shirley Library

Our activities include paper cutting, calligraphy, plate painting, Chinese games, Chinese folk dancing, and learning basic Chinese greeting and numbers. Free, no bookings required. Recommended for all ages. Caregiver required.

Hornby Library

Come and celebrate Chinese Language Week with us at Hornby Library. Lead teacher, Fang Tian from the Confucius Institute will run a Chinese calligraphy taster and Cherry Blossom painting session. Suitable for all ages. FREE, no bookings required. Wednesday 26 September, 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Find out more.

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival中秋节

Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is on the 15th day of the 8th month of a lunar calendar year when the moon is believed to the biggest and fullest. Chinese people believe that a full moon is a symbol of reunion, harmony and happiness so Mid-Autumn Festival is a time for family reunion. Mooncakes are the main characteristic food for this occasion. Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival was derived from the ancient rite of offering sacrifices to the sun in spring and to the moon in autumn. Folklore about the origin of the festival is based on the ancient legend of Chang’e and her fateful ascent to the heavens after having swallowed an elixir pill.

Books and resources in the library related to Mid-Autumn Festival 图书馆有关中秋节的读物

Confucius’ Birthday孔子诞辰

Confucius, also known as Kong Qiu, is a great Chinese scholar, teacher and social philosopher. Confucius is believed to be born on 28 September, 551BC. He was living in a period regarded as a time of great moral decline. Working with his disciples, Confucius edited and wrote the classics and compiled Four Books and Five Classics 四书五经 to find solutions. In his life time, Confucius traveled throughout eastern China to persuade the official classes and rulers of Chinese states with the great moral teachings of the sages of the past. Although Confucius did not succeed in reviving the classics, his teachings formed as a dominant Chinese ideology, known as Confucianism, which values the concepts of benevolence仁, ritual仪, propriety礼. His teachings have had a profoundly influence on Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese thoughts and life for 2500 years.

Each year, Confucius’ birthday celebration ceremonies are held on the island of Qufu (Shangdong Province, Mainland China), the birthplace of Confucius. Outside Mainland China, Confucius’ birthday is also celebrated in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea and Japan. In Taiwan, Confucius’ birthday is set as a public holiday for teachers, known as Teachers’ Day, to memorise the first great teacher in the Chinese history.

  

Books and resources on Confucius in the library 图书馆有关孔子的读物

Chinese Language Collection

Chinese eResources

  • Overdrive — Chinese language eBooks中文电子书
  • Dragonsource — Chinese language magazines龙源中文杂志
  • Press Reader — Chinese language newspaper and magazines 在线中文报纸和杂志

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Resources for Learning Chinese

Programmes and services offered in Chinese at your library

Hong Wang
Network Library Assistant

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year

Jewish New Year, or Rosh Hashanah (literally translated as ‘the head of the year’) is one of the most important dates on the Jewish calendar. It is a time for seeking forgiveness and in effect, beginning the year with a clean slate. Celebrated over two days, Rosh Hashanah is marked through traditions such as blowing a shofar (a hollowed out rams horn), casting off sins into a river, and dipping apples in honey (a symbolic hope for a sweet new year). It is a celebration filled with hauntingly beautiful ancient customs and symbolism, and even for those who are not of the jewish faith, Rosh Hashanah and jewish tradition in general, is fascinating to learn about.

Judaism has hugely informed western ethics and law, making awareness around this faith important. The library has some fantastic books on Judaism both for children and adults. as well as great resources on jewish history.

Cover of The story of the Jews by Simon SchamaOne of these gems is Simon Schamas epic ‘The Story of the Jews which details the suffering and accomplishments of the Jewish race from 1000 BC to the Holocaust, to modern day. Schama tells the Jewish story with empathy, insight, and even humour.

More locally the library also holds Jewish Lives in New Zealand a beautifully produced book which records the achievements of over 8000 New Zealanders who identify as Jewish.

If you are really wanting to go the extra mile and are keen to attempt some Hebrew, our free online learning resource ‘Mango Languages’ has a course you can try on both biblical and modern Hebrew. Again, there are also some great books in our collection you can use to supplement your learning, both for children and adults.

Wanting some Jewish themed movies? The library has a fantastic selection of these too, including these five great picks:

  • Chariots of Fire, a classic movie which tells the story of two runners in the 1924 Olympics- one a Scottish Christian, the other Harold Abrahams, a Jewish man seeking to overcome the world’s prejudice.
  • Fiddler on the Roof A musical with universal appeal, Fiddler on the Roof tells the story of a poor jewish milkman living in Tsarist Russia as he and his wife seek to find husbands for their three daughters. With touching themes of family, tradition, and human tragedy, Fiddler on The Roof is also packed with excellent music and timeless jewish humour.
  • A Place to Call Home: Set in post war Australia, and featuring a seriously fantastic Jewish heroine, this binge-worthy TV series is the ever addictive saga of Australian royalty – the Blighs. Happily the library holds all four parts to this series, because once you start, you really won’t stop.
  • Daniel Deronda: This beautifully filmed adaptation of George Elliott’s classic novel, tells the parallel stories of Gwendolyn Harloth, a beautiful but spoilt gambler, and Daniel Deronda, a sensitive and brilliant young man. Unique for its time, Daniel Deronda explores the theme of Jewish identity in the nineteenth century with a beautiful sympathy and understanding.
  • Gentleman’s Agreement When a journalist decides to research anti-semitism as empathetically as he can by telling people he is Jewish, he witnesses first hand the bigotry that is rife in 1930s America. A classic movie which remains as relevant and effective as when it was first released in 1947.

There are so many amazing Jewish authors it is hard to recommend just a few you could try, but here is my attempt with five very different writers:

  •  I Will Bear Witness ‘I Will Bear Witness’ is the incredible diary of Jewish scholar Victor Klemperer. Written in Germany during the second world war, these powerful and mesmerising diaries describe day to day life under the Nazi regime with important detail, candour, and courage.
  • Foundation: Asimov’s classic Foundation series is the forerunner to other space age Science fiction. The first book in this trilogy begins the tale of the death and reestablishment of the Galatic empire. While brilliant Mathematician Hari Seldon attempts to gather the Galaxy’s finest thinkers in order to preserve knowledge and ideas for the next generation, corrupt warlords threaten to destroy their ‘Foundation’ and potentially, any hope for the future of mankind.
  • The Catcher in the Rye: This unforgettable classic is sixteen year old Holden Cauldfield’s simultaneously hilarious and tragic story (narrated directly from a Sanatorium) of the events that happened to him just before Christmas. In Holden/Salinger’s own words “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it”. This is exactly how you feel after reading this.
  • Cover of The Finkler QuestionThe Finkler Question: This Man Booker Prize Winning novel explores what it means to be Jewish and the dark theme of anti semitism. ‘The Finker Question’ tells the story of two friends- Sam Finkler a Jewish author and philosopher, and Julian Treslove, a less successful BBC worker. When Treslove is attacked as he walks home that night, there follows his exploration of who he is, opening up a story of identity, old age, justice, and love. A wonderful story told with compassion, humour, and intelligence.
  • Exodus This gripping epic tells the story of the birth of Israel through the eyes of Karen, a German Jewish teenager orphaned by the Holocaust; Kitty a glamorous American looking to make a new start in life, and Ari, an Israeli freedom fighter raised on a kibbutz and determined to see the survival of this new nation. ‘Exodus’ is a fast paced novel written with passion and insight, one of those reads that really is impossible to put down.

Rosh Hashanah began on Sunday evening 9 September, and ends on the evening of Tuesday 11 September. Whichever way you decide to celebrate, shanah tovah everyone!

Find out more

Te Ao Hou – Weaving indigenous identity back into Ōtautahi: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

It was a chilly, damp, blustery and all-over a very Christchurch kind of day on Friday. Sheltered in the foyer of the Piano was a small and well-wrapped group of people, both long-term locals and people visiting just for the weekend, waiting for our 90 minute tour of the central city with Joseph Hullen (Ngāi Tūāhuriri/Ngāti Hinematua). I was really looking forward to it – I love finding out the stories behind a place, how human histories are represented in art and design. Joseph, and Ōtautahi – did not disappoint. The work that Matapopore has put into Ōtautahi Christchurch is incredible.

We started the tour in Victoria Square, near the site of Puari, a Waitaha Pā. The square was later known as Market Square after colonial settlement, and Joseph talked about the European design of the square and how it’s a bit… higgledy-piggledy (my word there, not his). Queen Victoria faces toward a building that isn’t named after her, faces away from a street that is named after her, and the closest figure to her is James Cook, a man she shares no whakapapa with. Their life spans never even crossed over.

In 1857, Ngāi Tahu rangatira, Matiaha Tiramōrehu, wrote a letter to Queen Victoria calling “That the law be made one, that the commandments be made one, that the nation be made one, that the white skin be made just as equal with the dark skin.” These words, and more from his letter, now adorn the tall windows of the Hereford Street entrance of Te Hononga, the Christchurch Civic building. A lovely link between Victoria Square and the Council building.

Joseph Hullen surrounded by the group who attended Friday’s walking tour of the city, in front of Tūranga.

Our second stop was our very own Tūranga, the new Central Library. Joseph told us the story behind the naming of the building as he explained the artwork carved into the stone above our heads. Tūranga was the place that Ngāi Tahu ancestor Paikea landed in Aotearoa, after his journey from Hawaiki on the back of a whale. It is a fitting name for a library – a repository of knowledge – as Paikea bought with him all the wisdom and knowledge from his homeland. The art on the side of Tūranga represents migration stories, and the pathways that bring people from all over the world to our shores.

Another thing to note, when standing directly under Tūranga and looking up at the building, is how ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE it is! Phwoar!

Joseph Hullen speaks to the Kirihao – Resilience sculpture in the Pita Te Hore Centre

Next we ventured down toward Te Hononga on Hereford Street to see Matiaha Tiramōrehu’s words on the windows, and explored the art and the rain gardens across the road at the Pita Te Hore Centre, where the old King Edward Barracks used to stand. Before the barracks, it was at the edge of the Puari Pā site. Joseph drew our attention to the banks of the river and the fact that the side we stood on was higher ground than the other – a very sensible place to build as it was much safer when the river flooded!

There’s a lot to see in the Pita Te Hore Centre, the landscaped courtyard in the centre of the office buildings is gorgeous. The stormwater is all treated on site in the rain gardens which are full of native plants. A moving sculpture, called Pupu Harakiki, commemorates Lisa Willems who died in the 2011 earthquake. Another sculpture, Kirihau – Resilience, speaks of the kaha – the strength and resilience of the tuna – the long finned eels – to adapt to their environment and it acknowledge the durability and adaptation of the people who live here as well.

The tiles under our feet are laid out in a poutama pattern – it looks like a series of steps, climbing toward excellence. The pattern also represents the pathway that the local soldiers took during World War One – out of the King Edward Barracks, across the river, toward the train station, over to the port at Lyttelton, and off to war.

This Christchurch City Library tukutuku panel, Poutama, shares the design with the tiles of the Pita Te Hore centre. Image reference: Poutama, tukutuku panel-04.

We followed the same path as the soldiers across the river (although there is a bridge there now – the soldiers at the time trudged across the water), across the Bridge of Remembrance. In front of the bridge is one of the series of 13 Ngā Whāriki Manaaki – woven mats of welcome. This one, Maumahara, remembers the men and women fallen in battle. Images of poppies are woven into the pattern that represents the march to war, and the journey after death to the spiritual realm.

Joseph talks about the Maumahara – Remembrance tiles near the Bridge of Remembrance

Next we stepped down toward the river where little tuna were poking their heads out from beneath the steps, drawn out by Joseph’s tempting fingers on the water. This whole area was a mahinga kai – a food gathering place – rich with tuna. This started a discussion among the group about sustainability – you get heaps more protein and calories from an acre of tuna than you could ever get from an acre of cows, and farming tuna is much better for the environment than farming cows.

Onward we walked to Hine-Pāka, the Bus Interchange, where the artwork on the ground in front of the entrance understandably represents navigation. Joseph drew our attention upwards too. Ngā whetū, constellations used for navigation, adorn the ceiling.

From the exchange we looped up Manchester Street, where the high density housing in the East Frame is going in – and the greenery around it in the Rauora Park. There’s also a basketball court and climbing frame – places to play are a vital part of any residential area.

Finally we heading back past Tūranga for a group photo, then back to the Piano where members of the group thanked Joseph with a waiata, a moving close to a really brilliant tour.

Find out more

Ed Husain: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Ed Husain has an interesting past; he is a self-described former Islamic radical, having spent five years between the ages of 16 to 21 immersed in radical Islam. He has become one of those rare  individuals to have retracted from his extremist past, to share his narrative and speak out about one of the more secretive and misunderstood religions.

Ed Husain. Image supplied

Today he spoke with journalist Donna Miles-Mojab at the WORD Christchurch Festival. I happily braved the blustery-ness and the coldness and toddled along to witness the discussion at The Piano. The large auditorium was close to packed, with most of the audience being a half century older (and no doubt a good deal wiser and more knowledgeable) than I.

As I set off, it was with an eye to dispel some of the uncertainties surrounding Islam, in my mind anyway, and try to gain some level of insight into a religion that has always piqued my curiosity.

The Talk

CoverThe focus was around Ed Husain’s latest book The House of Islam which is an intriguing historical account and firsthand glimpse in to the world of Islam, addressing some of the major issues it faces today and throughout history. Not being religious myself, I am nonetheless intrigued by the complexities of Islam. Surrounded as we are by media reports of terrorism and violence perpetrated by extremist Muslims in the 21st century, how could one not be confused and wary of the very religion such extremists follow and cite as their inspiration? 

The scene of today’s discussion was set with a quick overview of the political environment. The persecution and Islamophobia that exists in many countries (including Europe); forced migration; the internment, high level surveillance and loss of rights of many Muslims in China; refugees flooding into Europe and the issues that is causing; and the general atmosphere of fear and suspicion surrounding Muslims in many parts of the world.

My attention was then further aroused by the announcement that this would be more ‘debate’ than ‘discussion.’ Debate indeed it was, with journalist and author disagreeing on several fronts.

Here are some of the more interesting points that were raised:

That there is currently a “civil war of ideas” occurring in the world of Islam. Ed Husain seeks, through much of his book, to remind Muslims today that traditional Islam upholds values of peace, freedom and free thought. Islam extremists have forgotten (or ignored) this tradition, and have deviated from the path of true Islam. Ed Husain identified three key groups who are responsible for inciting this civil war; the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi salafism and the current Iranian government. (Note: this suggestion provoked some rather entertaining antagonism from his Iranian host, who then tried to steer the discussion away from politics…and prompted Husain to retort: “You don’t want to talk politics when you don’t like the answer!” Indeed.)

That Islam is not so different from other religions such as Judaism and Christianity. In fact Husain likened Islam to an “outgrowth of the mothership” that is Judaism.

Ed Husain does not buy in to the clash between the West and East. Points out that we all pursue our interests, and have done so throughout history.

There was mention of the decline faced by Europe during the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages were marked by the end of free thought, with one brand of Christianity dominating for a long period of time. Husain posited that Islam is now entering its own ‘Dark Age’, and that there has not been, until very recently, a shut down of free spirit and reason such as we are seeing today.

An interesting point was raised that Muslims too have a long history of slavery and conquest; such transgressions are not limited only to the West with its colonialist past. The world would not be what it is today without conquest.

There was then some lively discussion around what motivates Jihadists: Husain suggested that it arose from the desire to bring Islam back the former glory of the Ottoman Empire; for Islam to become once more a dominating power – a stark return to an imperialist mindset. He went on to talk about how the Islamic belief in an afterlife where you are rewarded in death is a damaging and dangerous idea: it makes the real world, and the humans in it seem dispensable. Husain posits that the suicidal tendencies of Islamist extremists is one of the deadliest problems we face. In this issue, Husain and Miles-Mojab depart somewhat. Miles-Mojab points out that most jihadists/Islamic radicals are young men who are unemployed and have a critical lack of understanding of their faith; so that rather than being faith driven they are motivated by other external factors. She points out the growing violence exhibited by alt-right groups and individuals in the US, which are not faith driven; and that more Americans were killed last year by American alt-right violence than Americans were killed by Islamic terrorism. Husain disagrees, believing that faith is the primary driver in radical Islam (but with other factors being additional), and that Islamic extremists are utterly convinced that they will die and enter a new world as martyrs of their faith. He also states that if Jihadists could kill more Americans they would. It is only because of the preventative measures in place, that they are not able to do more damage.

A parting Ed Husain quote:

Those of you who are uncomfortable with a US led world, I invite you to consider a China led world, because that is where we are heading at the moment.

After listening to all of this (and, admittedly, a few historical lessons which somewhat went over my head), I am positively determined to get my hands on a copy of Ed Husain’s book. Christchurch City Libraries has a copy of The House of Islam. He has also written another book about his experiences, The Islamist

If you missed out on today’s talk, Ed Husain will also be at WORD tomorrow (Saturday 1st September; 1-2pm; The Piano) as part of the Disunited Kingdom? talk where he will join forces with author and BBC presenter Denise Mina and columnist David Slack to discuss Brexit and its various consequences.

And there are still two more days of WORD to enjoy!! Many of the events are free, check out the programme.

Enjoy!

Further Reading

Witches of Gambaga – A Film By Yaba Badoe: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Gambaga is a town in northern Ghana, formerly capital of the Northern Region of Ghana. It also serves as a sanctuary for women accused of witchcraft in greater Ghana. Witches of Gambaga is a documentary film, directed by Yaba Badoe, that tells the story of the women who have been condemned to live their lives in the poverty of the witches’ camp in Gambaga. The film follows these women and explores how their lives have been destroyed by accusations of witchcraft.

Yaba Badoe. Image supplied.
Yaba Badoe. Image supplied.

Badoe, in her running commentary throughout the film, does mention that superstitions have a role in the accusations of, and continued belief in, witchcraft. However, she examines the prevalence of witchcraft in Ghana through a gendered lens that attempts to explain why it is exclusively women who end up living in the witches’ camp in Gambaga. One of the particularly interesting ways she does this is exploring the relationship that the Chief of Gambaga – the Gambaran – has with the woman accused of witchcraft. Here, the women have to pay the Gambaran for sanctuary, work for him on his property, and when they have proven that are no longer a ‘witch’ they have pay him to return home. In this instance, there is an obvious benefit for him to perpetuate the belief in witchcraft within the superstitious communities. Furthermore, Badoe also explores how all women in the witches’ camp are either elderly or middle aged – with the youngest women in the camp being in her early 30s – reinforcing certain ideas pertaining to women’s value and youthfulness. Through the way that Badoe engaged with the issue of witchcraft in Ghana, it is easy to see how the tradition is maintained through patriarchal beliefs and systems.

The film is striking in its simplicity, letting the situations and stories of the women who the film follows speak for themselves with Badoe offering further explanation when required. This allows the film to overcome the technical limitations of its creation and lead to a fantastically woven narrative explaining the plight of the women concerned.

The film was a surprisingly emotional affair as it humanises the suffering caused by patriarchal superstitions. Over 3,000 citizens have had their lives ruined and families stripped away from them on the basis of how a chicken dies; the main “trial by ordeal” used to determine the whether or not the accused is a witch. I found myself almost tearing up at certain instances surrounding discussions of the women’s families that they were forced to leave behind.

The film does a great job in highlighting how damaging patriarchal beliefs are, how they still linger in some parts of the world, and how they are causing extreme harm to the communities involved. For this alone, Yaba Badoe’s film is to be commended for engaging with this subject and telling the stories of these women.

Yaba Badoe at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

The Witches of Gambaga Friday 31 August 2.30pm

Starry, starry night Friday 31 August 8pm to 9.15pm

Yaba Badoe: Fire, stars and witches Saturday 1 September 2.30pm to 3.30pm

The Freedom Papers Sunday 2 September 1pm
Edinburgh Festival director Nick Barley speaks to three of the international writers from The Freedom Papers collection – Yaba BadoeLloyd Jones and Juno Dawson – about what freedom means to them.

Desert Woman – Robyn Davidson keynote: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Welcomed with a mihi by Corban Te Aika from Ngai Tāhu, we were then invited to fill our boots with adventure by WORD Christchurch literary director Rachael King,  the tone was suitably set for our WORD Christchurch Festival journey, beginning with an author who embodies the spirit of adventure: Robyn Davidson.

In 1977 Robyn trekked across the Australian desert with four camels and a dog for company; becoming world famous at the age of twenty-seven. The articles she wrote of her experience, for National Geographic, and The Times, formed the basis of her first book, Tracks. Robyn’s incredible story of survival in the desert remains a best seller, and was made into a film in 2013.

In the sold-out Philip Carter Family Concert Hall at The Piano, Robyn relived her 1700 km journey for an enthralled audience, accompanied by images by Rick Smolan.

Rick was sent by National Geographic to chronicle her adventures, meeting her three times during the nine month journey. The collaboration was uneasy at first. Although she needed the sponsorship, Robyn wasn’t keen to stage pictures re-enacting the story for a magazine audience, and she wasn’t willing to share her time alone in the desert.

Robyn felt “objectified” by the constant clicking, her depiction in the shots as a ‘Vogue model” and became increasingly aware that Rick was falling in love with her.

Raised on a cattle farm in Queensland, Davidson had a natural affinity with animals and later studied zoology. She spent two years working with camels before she felt ready to take on the unforgiving Australian desert.

Davidson practiced trekking with an Aboriginal guide, learning how to find water. She became interested in nomadic peoples, becoming something of an advocate for aboriginal land rights. The interest around the Tracks story led to a career as an explorer and writer.

“You are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be.”

Robyn conveyed some great messages to the crowd, empowering us with the idea that if a twenty seven year old Robyn, who was “terrified of everything’ could cross the desert, then “anyone can do anything.” She spoke of how we need to push through the boundaries of family, society and our own inner voices to command our own fate – to find a “better, larger way of being.”

The experience changed Robyn. When alone in the “singing desert” (i.e. not hounded by tourists and photographers) Robyn felt a sense of connectedness with everything.

“When all is connected, the boundary of the self expands.”

Therefore Robyn didn’t really feel alone in the wilderness, except when faced with life-threatening challenges such as an empty well or runaway camels. Even in the face of certain death, Robyn’s stoic sense of bravery came to the fore:

“I might have died, but we’re all gonna do that anyway.”

A master of understatement!

“The rest is sheer tenacity.”

Robyn later joined Indian nomads on migration in 1990-2, publishing this experience in Desert Places, and writing another collection including Tibetan nomads No fixed address.

Travelling Light, published in 1993 covers a decade of doing without “life’s little props,” including a trek across the U.S.A. on a Harley Davidson. Way to go!

Robyn Davidson at WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

Adventurous Keynote: Robyn Davidson Wednesday 29 August 7.30pm SOLD OUT

Mokaa – The land of opportunity: 125 years of Indians in Aotearoa exhibition – 13 to 24 August

You are welcome to come and view the free exhibition Mokaa – The land of opportunity: 125 years of Indians in Aotearoa:

  • Monday 13 August to Friday 24 August (the exhibition is open 8am to 5pm weekdays, not on weekends)
  • Christchurch City Council foyer
  • 53 Hereford Street
  • Christchurch Central

This exhibition highlights the history of Indians in New Zealand.

It includes true stories with over 100 compelling and rarely seen photographs of New Zealand Indian settlement – from the first Indian presence, to pioneering settlers, to established communities in New Zealand.

Download the poster [PDF]
Download the poster [PDF]

Learn more about India and New Zealand

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跨文化家庭教育和图书馆的资源 Cross-cultural parenting with library resources

根据大英百科全书Britannica Library Adults, 教育是传递一个社会的价值观和知识以达到个人社会化的过程。尽管每个现代社会都有从幼儿园到大学的正规化教育,通过亲子关系付诸实施的家庭教育在这一社会化过程中起着非常重要的作用。它是最早、最直接、最具影响力的、集养育和教育为一体的过程。它会影响到正规教育的结果。然而,对于我们华人移民来说,家庭教育并不是易事。家长从其移民身份带来的东方式价值观和知识不一定适用于在新西兰成长并接受西方正规教育的孩子。

跨文化的养育和教育的酸甜苦辣在《虎妈的圣歌》“The Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother”演绎得淋漓尽致。人们在笑谈亚洲成绩标准Asian Grading Scale之余也在思考并探讨在这样的跨文化的环境中究竟怎样的教育方式才是合适的。这是一个学习做父母parenting 的过程。为人父母的能力并不是天生的,需要后天的学习和完善。下面三个方面是家长在跨文化的环境中需要学习的。

了解不同的教育理念:

从人类社会初期,教育的目的是在孩子社会化过程中进行文化传承。因此,在进行家庭教育时,生为第一代移民的家长们需要考虑您们和孩子身处的文化、社会环境和与之相关联的教育理念。Britannica Library Adults 中关于教育的科普 知识是一个理想的开端。然后,从Fifty major thinkers on education: From Confucius to DeweyFifty modern thinkers on education: From Piaget to the present中,您会更系统、深入地了解到不同时期和社会文化背景下的教育理念。这有利于您因势利导地选择家庭教育的方式,并与学校的正规教育有机地结合起来。

借鉴教育方法、规范和技巧:

有了对教育理念的理解后,家长们还需学会怎样将这些理念根据情况应用到家庭养育和教育中形成具体方法和技巧。古今中外有很多规则和方法可以借鉴。例如,中国古代清朝启用的《弟子规》秉承了《论语》的传统,列出了为人子弟在家和在外时待人接物以及求学的礼仪和规范,其特别强调以中国传统的“五伦关系”为基础的遵从和孝顺。相反,当前西方广为流传的、在《发现孩子:蒙台梭利儿童教育经典》详细阐述的蒙式教育法则提倡发现并激发孩子的潜能。不管选择了怎样的家庭教育方式或集众家之所长,我们可以考虑汲取象《好妈妈胜过好老师》中的一些具体的、操作性强的建议和方法。身体力行地与孩子相知相处形成适合于自己的家庭教育方法。希望所附的书目能在这方面给您提供一些灵感。

善于使用资源:

选择适合的学习资源也对家庭教育至关重要。基督城图书馆有众多的资源和服务供您选择。家长可带学龄前儿童到图书馆参加讲故事babytimes 和 storytimes 的活动。图书馆的学习中心还有免费和少量收费的假期课外活动。每一个图书馆都有从启蒙程度到适合青少年的书籍,例如 picture book, into reading, younger fiction, older fiction, children’s nonfiction, young adult fiction, young adult nonfiction等。部分图书馆(Central Library Peterborough, Fendalton, Halswell, Hornby, Linwood, Upper Riccarton) 还有中文儿童读物。

图书馆的电子资源也丰富多彩。从三岁儿童就可使用的、寓教于乐的 Busythings 到中小学生都能用的Literacy PlanetSmartMath Practice等家庭作业资源。从Year 5 开始,孩子会在学校遇到一些研究性的问题和项目。教会他们使用大英百科全书Britannica Library Kids和世界图书 World Book Kids等参考书会极大地扩展他们的知识面和自学能力。鼓励孩子使用AnyQuestions在线帮助新西兰学生家庭作业的服务。这一服务是教育部和国家图书馆联合筹办的、由来自新西兰各图书馆的图书管理员提供的在线服务项目。该项目能帮助学生们学会查询、评估和使用作业相关的信息。除此之外,Mango LanguageDragonSource 对学习中文的孩子们必不可少。

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尽管跨文化的家庭教育不是一件容易的事,但如果家长们能从理论到方法和资源上先武装自己,学会怎样做父母,将这些资源通过适合的方法和技巧有机地结合到日常计划中,跨文化的家庭教育定会硕果累累。

Hong Wang, Network Library Assistant