Inspired by a visit to the Museum of the Native American in New York City, Taaniko created Soldiers Rd Portraits in 2013 with Vienna Nordstrom. It is an original concept using modern media, props and photography to recreate vintage style Māori portraits of people today and has been recognised on an international stage. From the thousands of portraits Taaniko and Vienna have taken, these images have had a profound and positive effect on men, women, children and whanau of all cultures and backgrounds, but most particularly Māori.
In Aotearoa, Māori are significantly over-represented in the prison population and underlying themes behind this include a lack of understanding around identity, heritage, tikanga, whakapapa and kawa. Consequently Taaniko and Vienna are pleased to partner with NZ Corrections in a ground breaking pilot which aims to transform prisoner cultural identity and self perception as an innovative way to approach prison recidivism rates.
The Soldiers Rd experience creates a paradigm shift in the wayrangatahi or mauhere (prisoners) see themselves and their tupuna historically, currently as well as potentially in the future. This meaningful work ignites the passion Taaniko has for making a difference in people’s lives, helping them feel.
He aha te mea nui o te ao? What is the most important thing?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata It is people.