New Histories: Creating Video Work to Fill Adoption Absences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adopted at birth and brought up Pakeha, I discovered as an adult that I have Ngai Tahu tupuna (ancestors). Adoptees seek birth kin and stories to try to fill the gaps and absences that haunt us, so I undertook my roots journey, travelling three times to Riverton/Aparima, where my ancestors had lived, taking my video camera. In this article I describe how initially I did not find the belonging I was looking for, but through my creative practice of filmmaking, and the three short videos I made, I did connect to place, and began making a new history for myself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
JournalJournal of New Zealand Studies
Issue numberNS29
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • adoption
  • Maori
  • creative practice research
  • filmmaking
  • belonging
  • identity


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