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stories grounded in people and places

In Aotearoa (New Zealand) there are two ways of describing people's relationship with the land: tangata whenua (people of the land) and tangata tiriti (people of the Treaty of Waitangi/constitution). 

Growing up learning about the history of indigenous people and of colonisation and immigration in Aotearoa, I've always been aware of the complex connection people have to the places they call home. 

After graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts in 2016, I moved to Naarm (Melbourne), Australia to work as a music director, music tutor and performing artist. It was this first experience of living in a new place that had me wondering, "What connects people to a place?"

This curiosity also led me to start working as a copywriter, interviewing people about their stories and researching local history for government websites. In 2020 I moved briefly to Warrane (Sydney) and then moved again to London, England where I'm now based. 

Over the last 3 years my work has shifted to focus on storytelling for brands, artists and non-profits, exploring people's connection to the communities they live in.

Stories are what ground us amid this complexity, they frame and make sense of our experience of the world. And so in every story I hear and tell, I'm looking for the answer to the question of what connects us as humans to the place we're in. 


Jo Elise

brand storyteller, writer, sound engineer, songwriter, and performer

You can contact me by email at joelisecreates [at] or saying hi on Instagram: @_joelise

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