Johanna Knox

Johanna will explore contemporary practice-based expressions of Māoritanga, focusing on dynamics of connection, disconnection, reconnection and hybridity.

Commenced 2020

Johanna (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Ranginui, Tangata Tiriti) has worked as a writer and editor for most of her life. Her published books include A Forager's Treasury (Allen & Unwin, 2013) and Guardians of Aotearoa (Bateman Books, 2018). In 2018, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at the IIML, and in 2019, Heke Rongoā at Te Wānanga o Raukawa.

Johanna writes: 'My project is a set of creative essays that pay attention to the ways dedication to a particular practice can, over time, facilitate new or growing commitment to, obligation to and understanding of Te Ao Māori. I'm also delving into the fertile and fraught area of cultural hybridity.

'Research into the history of my own family's cosmological worldviews – a personal whakapapa of thought – will be woven throughout.

'Underpinning the project is my belief that working towards reconnecting to Māoritanga, repairing whakapapa ruptures, developing a deeper understanding of kawa and tikanga, and reconciling one's Māori and Pākehā identities, can grow one's commitment to the transformational actions (personal and public) that are needed to rebuild Aotearoa's political and social structures so that they rest on the wellbeing of Papatūānuku, spring from Indigenous tino rangatiratanga, and, by restoring tikanga, give everyone on this land a place.'

Read more:

Johanna Knox: lockdown food foraging (RNZ interview, 18 April 2020)

'Rongoā' (4th Floor Literary Journal, 2019)