I chose to shoot Judgement, as our generation is under immense pressure with allot of external judgement. Judgement from those who aren’t part of my community, those that have access to money, those that have access to family support, those that have access to financial support, those that have access to a stable home, health care, or anyone who doesn’t have to worry just walking down the street thinking that anything could happen.
Judgement resonates with myself and the community I am a part of because our voices are being amplified, the Judgement has turned. I’m part of the community that doesn’t often get recognised, I’m part of the community that is often forgotten about, unfortunately because of that allot of trauma get’s passed through. So I guess the community is suffering allot of hurt, and as this community grows stronger there won’t be any need for that. Only look into the past for strength, only look into the past for guidance. Don’t look at the past for the horrific injustices that have happened towards myself, community, mob, culture, all of it and to keep going. Mistakes need to be made in order to learn from them. The mistake of forgetting us has gone on too long, and it’s time to rectify it.
It’s a heavy card that intertwines love and acceptance. It’s a card to remind you that what ever you’re feeling in your heart that needs to be said, absolutely needs to be said. It’s been pulled because you have been chosen or need to be reminded that the work you are doing is going somewhere and needs to continue despite your struggles. There are symbols on the card from my fathers side, of who I am – a Maori – African woman, now residing in Melbourne, stolen land. Symbols that incorporate the Ghanaian side, who have also suffered lots and lots of injustices bestowed upon them, since people have been able to access their tribes. The symbols not only represent parts of my family from my fathers side but hopefully be reminded and stamped on the card so that other people who might resonate with that too. This card has symbology from both my Maori and African side. To acknowledge there are allot of us who come from very very rich cultures, that have combined into one person. I’m wearing a non-traditional / imitation Moko Kauae. This has been bestowed to allot of the women of the tribes where I’m from. The particular symbols represent each tribe – this one [Moko] is similar to Tainui, and has been one of the main things chopped out of our heritage due to colonisers. There is allot of us who have it strong in our hearts but we don’t show the representation via our language, our traditional markings on our face and on our bodies. This is the beginning of something I will be looking forward to getting permanently.
Our history of our generations all come dark places. That is something that is embedded in our DNA. When you start seeing that on a regular basis and you’re letting it surround you, and its hindering you from taking any sort of action. That is the time you need to re-centre yourself and do the things that make you feel as whole as possible so you can continue. For me it is listening to Te Karere in the background on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea. That’s what my Whanau does. In terms of my African side, I would find food, and others with similar backgrounds to just chill out with them and know that we don’t have to talk about anything that could lead us into those dark paths.
20. Judgement – Bex Qtipoc
The first version of Judgement, number 20 in the Major Arcana. Shooting this with Bex was such an honour, and such an important story to tell. She’s been there from the beginning encouraging me along this journey and although we’ve tried to shoot a number of times, this time it felt right. The right card choice and the right message that means so much. It’s been an honour and a privilege to hear, document and share your story. I love you.
West African Wisdom: Adinkra Symbols & Meanings
ADINKRA INDEX: http://www.adinkra.org/htmls/adinkra_index.htm
|BI NKA BI||“no one should bite the other”||peace, harmony
|DAME-DAME||name of a board game||intelligence, ingenuity|
|EPA||“handcuffs”||law, justice, slavery|