Café des Idées - Science in Conversation
In 2020, the Alliance Française “Café Scientifique” becomes “Café des Idées - Science in Conversation” jointly organised with FAST!* and the Embassy of France to offer a convivial meeting platform for the exchange of ideas, information and discussion for all those who are interested in French-related science and its broader implications for society and the natural environment.
The new format will include the possibility to connect on line or to come at the premices of Alliance Française in Wellington (free admission).
* France Aotearoa Science Technology and Innovation
Next Event: 2 July 2020 - Tūpuna returning home
On 2nd July at 5.30 pm, join the conversation with Simon Jean and Nicola Kiri Smith about the repatriation of Toi moko from France back to New Zealand.
You can either come to Alliance Française Wellington or connect with Zoom from the comfort of your own home. Please register (free):
and you will receive the link 48 hrs before the talk.
About the topic
The Acquisition and Repatriation of Toi moko from France back to New Zealand.
Between May 2011 and January 2012, French public institutions returned 21 Toi moko (preserved Māori heads) to the museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa waiting to find their final resting place. This first inter institutional operation between these two countries enabled the creation of a mutual understanding of Māori current cultural identity but also the common colonial past. All heads were part of public collections, museums and universities before getting their initial definition back as tūpuna as soon as they reconnected with the land of Aotearoa.
The café des idées will be the opportunity to talk about the current relationships that emerged from this return. Also to introduce the role played by this operation in terms of relationships between museums and Iwi.
Simon Jean's biography:
Simon Jean is a PhD student in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, focusing on Māori culture and the repatriation of human remains from France. Simon worked with the Karanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme at the National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa in Wellington and continues to aid in building relationships between Te Papa and French institutions. Recipient of the Friendship Fund between France and New Zealand in 2012, Simon had also the opportunity to present his research at the Museum Aotearoa conference in May 2019 thanks to the Student Conference Award delivered by the FAST! (France Aotearoa Science Technology !nnovation).
Nicola Kiri Smith's biography:
Nicola Kiri Smith (Ngāti Maniapoto, Taranaki Tūturu) is a former Repatriation Researcher at Te Papa. In her capacity as a member of the Katanga Aotearoa Repatriation Programme, Nicola was involved in a number of international and domestic repatriations of Māori human remains, and co-authored a published journal article regarding the trade and collection of human remains in the South Island.
Nicola is now a manager at the Waitangi Tribunal Unit and has extensive professional experience in the wider Treaty sector.