The Water Flows From the Rhine in Switzerland, to the Waters of the Wairoa in Aotearoa, Back to Te Auaunga Where I Now Live: Exploring Transnational Movement and Place Through a Visual Art Practice
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This practice-led research is primarily located in Aotearoa and in reference to Switzerland, my country of birth. Various materials have been utilised as tools to visualise and examine my presence in Aotearoa as tauiwi (foreigner/immigrant) and being tāwāhi (distant) to my ancestral homelands. As a daughter of two first-generation Swiss immigrants that have chosen to live in Aotearoa, questions about my transnationality have led to this investigation. The outcome of my project is an exhibition Te Wairoa: The Long Water that assesses my privilege and critiques my movements as tauiwi around a significant site from my upbringing, the Wairoa. This river is one of two bodies of water central to this research (the other being the Rhine in Switzerland). The research has seen a transformative development to the idea of 'being in' rather than 'belonging' to a country. A provisional event Walking the Wairoa, has resulted in a refocusing to (preliminary) actions (including walking and swimming practices) that have encouraged my own thoughtful movement through place.