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You’ve heard of film-maker Peter Jackson, but how many other great creative talents can you name from New Zealand? Our National Expedition will take you beyond the branding of Middle Earth and introduce you to the works of New Zealand’s most exciting contemporary writers, filmmakers, theatre practitioners and digital production companies.
The realities of time and place are crucial influences on creative work. Through an intensive study of key works from seven locales including urban, rural and wilderness areas, you will discover the ways in which contemporary creative expression in Aotearoa/New Zealand reflects and exposes the layered geographies of people, cultures and histories. You will study some of the best examples of creative writing, feature film, documentary, and community theatre and produce original creative work in your preferred media and genre(s) under the guidance of experienced faculty. Along the way, you will meet and be inspired by innovative practitioners working in these art forms. Your tour will include screenings and attendance at rehearsals and performances, as well as comprehensive study materials to guide your journey.
Your expedition begins in Christchurch, where the arts have been essential in rebuilding community spirit and transforming vacant spaces after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. From Christchurch, you will make your way up the South Island to St Arnaud, a village on the northern end of scenic Lake Rotoiti, and through the wine-growing area of Marlborough to the port city of Picton where we will board the ferry to cross Cook Strait.
Wellington has cultivated a reputation as the creative capital of New Zealand, and you will see how the concentration has created a vibrant arts scene. You will visit Weta Workshop and observe the work of innovative local theatre companies. From Wellington, the tour will continue through to the Māori heartland of Gisborne, where the group will focus on creative works that advance the political and spiritual issues of tino rangatiratanga, or Māori sovereignty. The tour then proceeds northwards through the thermal area of Rotorua and the rich dairy country of Matamata.
A longer stay in New Zealand’s largest population centre, Auckland, will give you plenty of time to explore the “super-diversity” of a city that is not only the hub of Polynesian performing arts, but also a melting pot of over 200 ethnic groups. From Auckland, we loop south again, following the Waikato and Whanganui rivers to the volcanic region of the Central Plateau. The theme of “man alone” -- or “going bush” to escape domestic constraints -- has shaped New Zealand literature and cinema, and we retrace the steps of our most iconic anti-heroes through the lush bush as well as the rugged moonscape of lava fields.
From there, we head south to the student city of Palmerston North. Through the case study of the threatened Manawatū River, Massey staff will discuss how they integrate awareness of environmental ecology into their creative works. The expedition returns to Wellington for a creative showcase of your work during the tour and transition to your internship.
The final itinerary is subject to change.
Assessment of the 150 learning hours will be based on a portfolio of creative exercises (30%), a group presentation (35%), and a reflective journal (35%).
CE&DM National Expedition Academic Guide.pdf (875 KB)
Students who successfully complete the National Expedition will be able to:
Massey University's Expressive Arts program offers a unique inter-arts experience. Works created by Massey faculty feature in New Zealand best-seller lists, win international awards, and are screened or performed at arts festivals from Sydney to Edinburgh. Students who have completed our courses have gone on to win some of New Zealand's top writing prizes and received national media attention for their achievements.
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Last updated on Monday 12 June 2017