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Why do I publish books like these?

Ngā mihi kia koutou! Greetings to you all!

This is the beginning of the next step in an exciting adventure of getting my writing to those who might need it. I believe that people should not be excluded from learning or blocked from being able to succeed academically, just because they think, learn or relate to others in a different way from those in the dominant culture of their society.

10 Female Artists

A waka, or indigenous Maori canoe - Bright Books

A waka, or indigenous Maori canoe, is often used as a metaphor for a journey of learning

The first books are all part of a single series. They are the result of my studies of nine other solo female artists and myself.

We wanted to understand more about our own ways of knowing and doing our art-making, and so together we embarked on a journey of learning. We were from a range of age groups, ethnicities and art-making areas, living in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Five of the ten identify themselves as Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand (the greeting at the start of this blog is in Māori and English, as are all the titles in the books).

The challenge

The challenge for me was to find ways to talk about the things that were really important to all of us: things like family, culture, spirituality, gender, creativity, and embodied knowing. I needed to find ways to communicate these things in English, in a western academic context where the rational and verbal have traditionally dominated. I was determined to honour the participants, to include everything that mattered to them, and still achieve the PhD. The original study was based around artists, but the findings are important for people in many other areas of study.

Accessible academia

I have published these books as a series of short books, rather than as one long, expensive, academic book; I wanted readers to be able to get only the particular topics they needed, at a reasonable price. Each book is small in size, with a colourful cover, short sections, photographs, tables and diagrams, and written so that the reader can quickly gain an overview. But each book also has extensive endnotes and reference sections, so that those who need to study in more detail have some titles to assist them with their particular learning journey.

Indigenous New Zealand

Because I live in Aotearoa, I often describe key elements of Māori culture, language and customs, as examples of indigenous approaches.

2 Responses to Why do I publish books like these?

  1. Pip Ferguson August 21, 2014 at 7:22 am #

    An inspirational vision, Deb. I wish you well in this new endeavour.
    Nga mihi nui kia koe

    • Debbie August 21, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      Thanks Pip. Much appreciated.

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