Saturday, 26 June 2010

Something to read, and something to watch

Maori TV is devoting two evenings of prime time to talking about child abuse, starting on Sunday 27 June, and continuing on Monday 28 June.

There's an article about the project in the Herald: A catalyst for social change. Some snippets:

Hirschfeld presents and hosts panel discussions which are interspersed with a series of mini-documentaries, most of them well under 10 minutes but which show viewers the lives of those stuck in abusive lifestyles, those who have rescued them and those who have changed their lives and are now changing the lives of others, be they strangers or their own whanau.

The second night specifically targets Maori and why they are where they are today.

Dame Anne Salmond, a professor of anthropology, talks through the major changes which have affected Maori over the years, from how in pre-European times children were never hit and on through the years of disease, war and the big flow to the cities to find work, and the statistics we have now.

This is followed by a piece on a book called The Spirit Level, where one of the authors, Richard Wilkinson, explains how income gaps are linked with violence and prison populations and how the problems of Maori and other indigenous cultures the world over are a response to low social status.

There is no point being scornful of such conclusions, says Hirschfeld. This is a reality which we need to confront and keep confronting.

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