Zaria Harding Whanaungatanga

  • Tauira / Student
    Zaria Harding
  • Kaitautoko / Contributor
    National Library
  • Kaiako / Lecturers
    Lee Jensen, Jo Bailey, Anthony Nevin, Erna Stachl, Kerry Ann Lee

"For a very long time, I felt as though there was a piece of me missing, I had never felt any connection with my whakapapa. Essentially the pieces that make up who I am. I have always felt a great sense of whakamā because of this, initially this was what drove this project, those feelings of whakamā deep within. This is where the inspiration intent and purpose for Whanaungatanga the discovery of my whakapapa, was born. A piece that presents all of my findings in a stylized modern editorial approach following the structure of my pepeha. In its essence Whanaungatanga is for those who have come before me, the people around me right now and for the people who may come after. I set out to design a body of works that was primarily designed with my whakapapa, and those that have come before in mind. My central proposition was centered around alleviating feelings of whakamā however not solving those feelings, potentially a pessimistic way to view the feeling of whakamā but can it completely be solved? Well im not sure, but what I am sure of is that this can be used as a tool to guide ones journey navigating those feelings and potentially turn them into something else, these feelings are complex and multi-layered and it was important to acknowledge this.

Communication design was used as a way to show pieces of whakapapa and enforce the concept of Whangangatanga, and in the process alleviate the feelings of whakamā associated with the lack connection felt, this project is highly self-reflective and meditative, the viewer is challenged to ponder the question, what makes me the person I am? The imagery that features, was a combination of historical imagery, personal imagery and sourced images which I manipulated to depict a story. I had to heavily consider how I presented any imagery. Initially it was difficult to have flow and, a lot of the feedback I received was to manipulate the historical images, to create flow. However it was important to me and my process that I show these historical images in the raw state I found them in, because these images and resources are taonga, they need to be treated as such, left alone to be preserved. Whanaungatanga was a very fulfilling project for multiple reasons, as the project progressed I found the weight on my shoulders lifting with every little piece of information l learnt, another piece of the never ending puzzle was completed. I do hope that those in a similar position to myself can relate and find mana in the piece I have created. The output is so much more than just a book, it is pieces of myself I have been urning to know. This speaks of those who have come before me for those who are to come after me. No reira tena kauto tena kauto katoa."