By Kauri Hawkins
Fall in Line mixes found audio with film to build a narrative of the Māori war effort: of the opposing sides fighting for King and Country or fighting against Imperial subjugation. This film represents that duality between fighting for and against the crown during the First World War while also commenting on its effects among Māori and Pacific men one hundred years later. Back in 1916, the Maori Pioneer Battalion were a labour force building telecommunication lines, digging trenches, creating roading and infrastructure for other 'fighting' battalions. Fall In Line explores a link between those physical roles in 1916 and whether their descendants can be found today working similar jobs in roading, construction and civic infrastructure.
Fall In Line audio excerpts:
- The Māori War Effort at Home and Abroad by Dr Monty Soutar (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngai Tai) made for NZHistory by MCH
- Forgotten grandfathers - Māori men of WW1 a talk by Puawai Cairns at TEDxTauranga
Kauri defines his work as trans-customary, combining Māori and European art concepts. His work reflects his own life, and those of other Māori, who walk among the Māori, Pacific and Pākehā worlds and face the issues of the 21st Century.
Kauri’s work narrates of the positive and negative effects of colonisation on indigenous cultures. Kauri communicates through his hands, not being a fluent speaker of the language of his people.
Ka pū te ruha, ka hao te rangatahi (the old net is cast aside, while the new net goes a-catching).