The Dead Ladies Show is a series of entertaining and inspiring talks about women who achieved amazing things against all odds, presented live on stage, usually in Berlin. This podcast is based on that series.
In this episode: we go to New Zealand! Or, more accurately, New Zealand comes to us. Featured are two talks from the first ever NZ Dead Ladies Show, recorded live during LitCrawl Wellington, produced by Pirate and Queen.
Presenter Jesse Bray Sharpin, a renegade historian, tells us about Constance Barnicoat, a multilingual journalist and interpreter, intrepid mountaineer, and all-around badass.
And Maraea Rakuraku, a Tūhoe and Ngāti Kahungunu playwright, poet, and more presents a personal story about how Dr Irihapeti Ramsden — a Māori nurse, writer, educator & anthropologist who campaigned for the healthcare needs and cultural recognition of indigenous peoples — impacted her life and work.
Maraea provided us with a little background about Captain Cook, who she speaks about in her talk:
Indigenous Māori and indeed most of the Pacific, have a conflicted relationship with British Explorer, Captain James Cook (1728-1779) credited (still) with having ‘discovered’, in 1769, populated for centuries by Polynesians – Aotearoa/New Zealand. This voyage and the two that followed, in (1772-1775) and (1776-1779) were precursors to colonisation, that would overwhelm Indigenous less than 70 years later and lead to the signing of The Declaration of Independence in 1835 followed by Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi) in 1840. These agreements reinforced the sovereignty and rights of the Indigenous peoples, who at the time were the majority peoples. Introduced disease, combined with the systematic economic, social and spiritual dismantling of cultural systems had a devastating impact upon the Indigenous population, which is still felt to this day.
And here’s a translation of her opening words:
Through my mother, I am Ngāti Kahungunu ki te Wairoa
Through my father, Maungapōhatu is my mountain
Tauranga, is my river
Ngāti Rere is my hapu,
Tūhoe is my tribe,
I am Maraea Rakuraku
Greetings to you all.
Also, DLS-cofounder Katy Derbyshire joins host/producer Susan Stone to explain how a Berlin show got to New Zealand, and discuss the complexities of varying viewpoints on history.
FYI -- there are a few swear words. @#$%&*!
See pictures of everyone involved and learn more in our show notes at
Thanks to Andrew Laking and Claire Mabey of www.pirateandqueen.co.nz
To find out more about LitCrawl Wellington go here: www.litcrawl.co.nz
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The Dead Ladies Show was founded by Florian Duijsens and Katy Derbyshire. The podcast is created, produced, edited, and presented by Susan Stone.