Panel Discussion / Intersectional Performance in Aotearoa


Saturday 27 November
Ron Ball Studio | Christchurch Town Hall
13:00 – 14:00

Join Juanita Hepi and guests, Mahina-Ina Kingi Kaui, Byllie-Jean Zeta, Nathan Joe  as they discuss intersectionality from its structural and institutional impacts to the way it categorises identity into measured commodities, and why at the centre, this is bad for our arts overall.

In 1989, Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term “intersectionality” as a way to help explain the oppression of African-American women. 32 years on and Crenshaw’s term is now at the forefront of national conversations about racial justice, identity, and policing.

Intersectional theory asserts that people are often disadvantaged by multiple sources of oppression: their race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and other identity markers. Artists who take intersectionality as their focus are interested in the way that different types of discrimination – such as racism, classism, xenophobia, misogyny, or ageism – can converge and impact individuals and groups, and their work explores these complex interactions. Here in Aotearoa these conversations are just as relevant and important.


Juanita Hepi – Kāi Tahu, Ngāti Wai, Moriori, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāpuhi is a multidisciplinary storyteller exploring the intersections of race, class and gender through indigenous storytelling and cross-cultural collaborations. She has performed on stages across Aotearoa; The Court Theatre, Auckland Theatre Company, Bats and Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Juanita holds a Masters of Māori and Indigenous Leadership with Distinction, a Graduate Diploma of teaching and Learning and a Bachelor of Arts from Toi Whakaari, the NZ Drama School.

She is a constant advocate for the arts and artists in Ōtautahi because this is the place her ancestors have battled, made love and settled for centuries.

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