The Celebritization of Indigenous Activism: Tame Iti as Media Figure

Julie Cupples, Kevin Glynn

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In recent years, a number of indigenous activists have gained celebrity status in ways that carry interesting implications for contemporary cultural politics. This article focuses on the celebrification of Tame Iti, arguably Aotearoa/New Zealand’s best-known Māori activist, within a wider cultural context characterized by intensifying media convergence, an expanding politics of decolonization, and the continuing elaboration of global indigenous mediascapes, including the Māori Television Service. We draw on forms of conjunctural analysis to explore how wider historical forces and social dynamics come to be embodied in particular flesh and blood individuals, who are thereby constituted as resonant media figures, who operate as both objects and agents of struggle, and who at once intervene in and shape, while also being shaped by, key terrains of contemporary discourse and cultural politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)770-787
JournalInternational Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number6
Early online date20 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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