Japanese Professor Visit

When both myself and others made videos for the Ko Wai Au project, I don’t think we could have dreamed that it would have accomplished the things that it did. That, somewhere in Osaka, a professor was watching the videos we made on our bedroom floors with books propping up our phones to film (or at least, that was the case for me).

Professor Hiroko Nakamura from Osaka International University visited our school during week three of this term, interviewing a number of students involved in the ‘Ko Wai Au- Who am I?’  project throughout her three days with us. The research she was doing on the project was related to an academic paper about New Zealand and its diversity and inclusionism, especially in the wake of the 2019 Christchurch mosque terror attacks. We were asked questions around what we aimed to achieve by making the 16 videos and some of the challenges we faced. Videos were made by students about their cultural and/or religious identity.

I’m sure that both myself, others involved in the Ko Wai Au project, and the staff and students of Westlake Girls High School wish her all the best with her paper, and hope that like the Ko Wai Au project, it spreads a message of inclusivity and acceptance around not just New Zealand, but the globe. 

By Sydney Brandolino

Picture in header: Professor Nakamura with Muslim students

Picture left: Professor Nakamura with Viatnamese Group