Taika Waititi became the first Māori person to win an Oscar when he accepted the award for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s ceremony. “I dedicate this to all the indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories,” the writer, director, star, and producer said. “We are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well.” A fellow producer on the acclaimed anti-Nazi satire, Chelsea Winstanley, is set to celebrate Māori art and artists in a new documentary.
Deadline reports that Winstanley is filming “Toi Tu Toi Ora – Visual Sovereignty,” a look inside “the final year of preparation for the first international showing of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s forthcoming exhibition, ‘Toi Tū Toi Ora: Contemporary Māori Art,’” which is “the most comprehensive survey of contemporary Māori art to be presented in New Zealand in recent history.” Set to feature “more than 120 indigenous artists, the majority being women, who have exhibited at Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and many other prestigious venues around the world,” the exhibition features work from the 1950s to the present day, and will “highlight various art forms that combine history, story, technique, and indigenous authorship.”
In addition to helming the doc, Winstanley will produce through her newly launched company This Too Shall Pass. Desray Armstrong of Sandy Lane Productions is also producing.
“It is clear that we need to ensure voices of those traditionally left out of the conversations for change are heard. Storytelling and Art Activism are ways to contribute to transformation and while artists have always responded to the political and social environment of the times, the critical narrative has often been controlled by those who uphold western artistic ideologies as the benchmark for what is contemporary art,” said Winstanley. “This exhibition is unique because the narrative and therefore the experience is Indigenous from the outset. My sole focus is to tell stories that give voice to those traditionally left out.”
Winstanley received a Best Picture Oscar nod for “Jojo Rabbit.” Her other producing credits include “What We Do in the Shadows” and “Merata: How Mom Decolonized the Screen.”