Short school Haka

With Short School Haka, Charles Fréger continues the exploration of syncretic cultural phenomena that he began with the Hereros series. The series was commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, Austria. It is a question of making forty-five very large photographs, the freedom of the subject is left intact. Charles Fréger chooses to leave for New Zealand and the Maori culture, and its entanglements within the colonial British culture. It is in a Maori school, three hours drive from Wellington, that he works on his subject. There, at least one hour a day, the students practice the haka, as part of their teaching. Tattooing, inherent to Maori culture, is forbidden on the face, but the school tolerates it as long as it is not permanent. Some have tattoos on their bodies, others will do so after their studies, but all, in order to practice the aka, especially during festivals, tattoo their faces with markers, often with the motifs of their families.