Skip to content

Figure 2.2

Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa, 2019
Designers Speak (Up)

Paolo Freire’s concept of transformative action (from his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970) suggests that action, reflection, learning and dialogue together with others (kanohi ki te kanohi) develops a critical consciousness capable of understanding structures of power and recognising social and political contradictions. 

This diagram by Graham Hingangaroa Smith re-imagines this concept as non-linear, where all components occur simultaneously and continuously over time. It has been copied from the original source by the artist’s son Louie (b. 2013), in exchange for $20 worth of Pokémon trading cards from TradeMe. 

To record the current landscape of women* in design and give visibility to the unsung diversity of Aotearoa design, Designers Speak (Up) made an open call early 2019 to all designers, artists and educators from the Directory of Women* Designers to design a poster using the medium to explore and address any issue social, cultural, or political issue of their choice.

Present Tense: Wāhine Toi Aotearoa presents the ongoing accumulation of posters in various forms — from printed to projected to published online — over the course of a project and exhibition hīkoi launched April 30, 2019, in Kirikiriroa at RAMP Gallery, finishing November 23, at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space in Pōneke.

Text courtesy of → Designers Speak (Up)

Designers Speak (Up) process photos