The Poetry of Exile
Displaced artists and writers from around the world gathered at Auckland University in July for a 3-day conference examining the link between exile and creativity. Organised by Professor Mike Hanne and officially opened by PM Helen Clark, ‘The Poetics of Exile’ brought together artists from Iraq, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Hanne described the conference as “an opportunity to review the extraordinary creative contribution that people who have lost their homeland so often make to the country they settle in. Specifically, it is a chance for New Zealanders to understand that refugees aren’t just people who need help to fit in, but people who have much to offer.” A message that speaks to NZ’s own creative diaspora?