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An Aotearoa Affair

or: a dialogue across the ocean, a maori in Manhattan,
a buddha in prison, and more crossings

24 crossings
the first New Zealand - German blog carnival is live. It includes 24 artists and writers. the theme is Crossings, here's the link:  An Aotearoa Affair: Crossings

it starts with a wonderful piece by Keri Hulme, who received the Booker Prize for her novel „Bone People“ and writes about the story of us all in a blog entry. 

another blog post that got under my skin is the one from Hinemoana Baker, which arrived just in time to include: a maori in manhattan – the blog reflection starts with remembering the earthquake in New Zealand, and still not finding the words:

"I don't know how it is to live through what's happened in Canterbury, in Pike River, in Japan. But I know about grief. And I know how it can take the air out of a person's life, make you turn in smaller and smaller circles." 


smaller and larger
maybe that's one of the impulses the carnival sparked from: in this time of overwhelming news streams, of new breaking headlines on daily basis, to create an open, slower, larger space to share small and large notes, reflections, moments, across hemispheres.

just like in this quote: "I think that's what we all want: we want to feel alive. We want to feel like part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to care about something that excites us, intrigues us, and challenges us to reach deep down and be the people we know we can be."
(from Tiny Buddha)


An Aotearoa Affair: read, write, connect
it was during a mail dialogue across shores that Michelle Elvy (in New Zealand) and i (from Germany, but at that point in Spain), realized that New Zealand will be guest of honour at the big book fair in Germany in October. which sparked the idea to create a virtual blog fest for writers and readers from both regions, or with some connection to it. a virtual space that invites readers and writers and bloggers to connect across those hemispheres. 

in January, the main page went online with the first features and stories: Aotearoa Affair - a blog fest. and at the end of February, the first blog carnival went live, leading to a stream of features and theme carnivals, guest edited issue included:

- Crossings
- Past Myths, Present Legends (guest editor: Rachel Fenton)
- Bi (guest editor: Christopher Allen)
- Flash Across Borders
- View from Here


the photos
in the collage are from Michelle's entry  Latitude Adjustment, from the blog   a maori in manhattan, from my own piece  Four Berlins, or: I am (t)here, and from a hidden entry: if you follow Roucheswalwe's vocabulary notes, and keep scrolling, you arrive at the story of the Buddha:  Glücksbringer  - "Talisman":

"The wooden Buddha who is missing his right foot: My Grandpapa received him as a friendship gift from a Japanese soldier in the mid-1940's when they were both prisoners of war in Camp Hearne, Texas. In Japanese, frog is Kaeru. This word sounds exactly like the verb, kaeru, to return."