Fierce Hope: Youth Activism in Aotearoa – Eds

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‘My generation has seen the stories of Parihaka and Bastion Point, and has witnessed women’s movements, and has seen Donald Trump get elected and has seen Christchurch terrorism – you know, all of these things, we’ve seen them, plus we have a Western education. Most of us have gone to university and we’re [also] entrenched in our tikanga; we’ve got all of these things that then make us, the people, to go “No!”‘
– Qiane Matata-Sipu, Protect Ihumātao

Youth activism has been a defining feature of Aotearoa’s recent political landscape. Amidst these unsettling political times haunted by climate change, colonisation, ongoing inequality and the upheaval of the pandemic, the political actions of young New Zealanders are a source of  inspiration, challenge and renewal.

Fierce Hope opens the doors on six influential activist groups: ActionStation, Generation Zero (Auckland), InsideOUT Kōaro, JustSpeak, Protect Ihumātao, and Thursdays in Black (University of Auckland). Activists from these groups explain vividly what future they want for our country, and how we can get there. They address an array of urgent issues, from indigenous rights to the justice system and imprisonment; from climate change to rainbow rights and sexual violence. In their voices we hear hope, anger, despair and anxiety – emotions which inform and galvanise activism.

The stories of Fierce Hope provide important insights into the immense demands of activism, and help inform radical new ways of living and being together in Aotearoa New Zealand.