Representing multiculturalism in a bicultural nation: the question of diversity in New Zealand cinema

Huijser, Hendrik (2005) Representing multiculturalism in a bicultural nation: the question of diversity in New Zealand cinema. International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, 4. pp. 395-401. ISSN 1447-9583

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Abstract

Historically, New Zealand has always represented itself as a bicultural nation of Maori (indigenous peoples) and Pakeha (white settlers), and this is reflected in its national cinema. But since the introduction of the Immigration Act 1987, New Zealand has increasingly become a multicultural and globally networked nation. However, this is rarely reflected in its national cinema, which largely continues to operate within a bicultural framework. Given this historical context, this paper explores the tension between what is called the 'Maori Cultural Renaissance' since the 1970s on the one hand, and the increasing demands for inclusion of various migrant communities on the other, in relation to the dominant Pakeha culture, using New Zealand cinema as a case study. The combination of a very small population (4 million), a relatively remote location, and advanced economic liberalisation means that producing a national cinema is always going to be a struggle in the face of global competition. The majority of films produced in New Zealand are therefore heavily reliant on government support. This in turn means that funding decisions are often based on official versions of nationhood and national identity, and the institutions responsible for these decisions are dominated by Pakeha. This paper discusses the impact of this situation on the content of New Zealand cinema, and the ways in which debates about multiculturalism and biculturalism are framed in this context, before drawing some conclusions about its wider impact on how the nation imagines itself and projects itself globally.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Authors retain copyright. 'If you wish to copy all or part of [this] work in any way - duplicating the electronic file, quoting in another work beyond what we define as 'fair use', or photocopying, for instance - you may. However, to attain permission to reproduce you need to email journals@commongroundpublishing.com. A fee may be charged. The creators of the work rely on your honesty. However, you will held be liable for any infringement of copyright for which you are responsible.' Deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Authors retain copyright. Readers must contact Common Ground for permission to reproduce. COMMON GROUND PUBLISHING PO Box 463, Altona, Victoria, 3018, Australia. http://www.CommonGroundPublishing.com
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:26
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:33
Uncontrolled Keywords: Multiculturalism and Biculturalism, Migration and Indigeneity, National and Cultural Identity, New Zealand Cinema
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190201 Cinema Studies
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture
Identification Number or DOI: DC04-0045-2004
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/643

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