1970-1980 Dawn Raid Project
Early 2020 our artists started a journey working under the unique mentorship of Tigilau Ness, Melani Anae, Alec Toleafoa and Chris McBride. A two-year commitment from the artists poured into a project drawn from a time before they were born. The project had its ups and downs, with the world undergoing a pandemic, adjusting to the "new way of life" almost 2 years on and the realisation that it will not be the same.
History speaks through the resilience of the people, COVID is another pandemic added to our navigation list. With the 50th anniversary of the Polynesian Panthers and the stories of the Dawn Raids resurfacing, Music and Education helps churn our healing journey. For this particular project, the point of difference is vāhine.
"Tigilau, Chris and I met on 26th Nov 2019 in Freemans Bay, it was then that Tigi spoke of the importance of having sisters on this project because of the nature of the Dawn Raids narrative. I didn't fully understand then but I understand now" -Vox Dawn
This wasn't about proving that girls can do better, no, but about honing in on the God-given nature and speaking from a perspective that only vāhine could, in this case, some of our artists carried that almost as a burden. As Polynesian vāhine lyricists, poets, songstresses and divas this wasn't going to be a quick flick turn around and release. There was sweat, tears, disconnection at times but then deep love of sisterhood. The story of the NZ Dawn Raids reminds us of that.