Reframing indigeneity: The difference an indigenous broadcaster makes (14321)
This paper examines discursive practices and participatory cultures forming around the Maori Television Service (MTS) in Aotearoa New Zealand. It explores in particular their capacity to challenge the epistemic violence inflicted through colonization upon indigenous ways of knowing and being. In the current conjuncture defined by neoliberalism, securitization and surveillance, colonization assumes insidious new forms. In postcolonial settler nations, indigenous iconographies are appropriated and commodified to promote state or corporate agendas, while indigenous peoples fighting for cultural and political rights are often characterized as "terrorists" or "indios insurrectos" (Hale 2004). We focus on two incidents: police "terror raids" on Tuhoe in Te Urewera in 2007, and controversies over public pronouncements by Air New Zealand in 2013 about a company policy that prohibits employment of people with ta moko. Both events revealed racialized mediascapes that became sites of contestation between competing visions of national identity, belonging and participation played out in particular on and through the bodies of indigenous people. While mainstream media trafficked heavily in racialized discourses of terror and securitization in relation to the Urewera raids, MTS drew upon grassroots counterdiscourses and counterknowledges that depicted the situation in the Ureweras very differently. By the time of the Air New Zealand controversy, MTS had developed around itself an active participatory culture of digitally engaged audiences making avid use of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. We explore the forms of indigenous citizenship active within this new media environment to assess the contribution an indigenous broadcaster can make to the formation of (counter)modernities.