I CLAIM: This is an interview with Dunedin Affirmations

I CLAIM: This is an interview with Dunedin Affirmations

Dunedin Affirmations (@dunedinaffirmations) is an Ōtepoti Instagram page on the rise. We checked in with them to see what goes into posting daily inspirational content, and also to get clues as to their identity because that is our favourite project right now.


Can you explain what an affirmation is?

An affirmation is a positive statement or phrase that you repeat to yourself to help manifest good things to come into your life and counteract negative thoughts — I see it as some sort of fake it ’till you make it kind of thing.


Why did you make the page?

I saw friends putting posts from @wellingtonaffirmations and @melbourneaffirmations up on their stories and immediately jumped on the wagon and made one for Dunedin. There are so many Dunedin inside jokes that I really wanted to see in the affirmations format and I thought others would find them funny too.

With the snap lockdown and a general feeling of being down-in-the-dumps across the people that I know, I thought it would be really nice to cheer them up a bit. And also remind people how fun and great Dunedin can be since we will all be here for a good while. It is not a bad place at all to be locked down in.


Where does your inspiration for the affirmations come from?

Since starting Uni this year and meeting people from all around New Zealand, it has made me realise more and more how special, but also how niche and weird the experience of living and growing up in Ōtepoti is. A lot of my posts are inspired by the distinctly Dunedin things I have talked to my new friends from out of town about. Things that make them go “What the fuck? That’s weird.” But I know people who live and grew up here find it relatable and understand my references.

My friends and I have all had our fair share of chatting shit about Dunedin over the years, but I have been unlearning that and have really gained so much appreciation for its quirks over the past year, with the help of affirmations. Dunedin is such a cool place to be, and I hope these affirmations help people be more appreciative of how special and random this city can be.


What is it like being the rock in people’s lives?

There is a bit of pressure to try and make the account relatable enough to apply to a wide variety of people, but I have just been having a blast running this account in the one week I have had it.

Walking through George Street I see people who have followed and posted about the account, and it is just really funny to me that they don’t know it is me. It is a bit of a Hannah Montana moment really. But honestly, it just feels really good to be able to cheer so many people up and make them feel seen/called out, as well as spread the Dunedin patriotism and feel a sense of pride (of the South).


What affirmations do you live by?

My personal favourites all come from the OG @afffirmations. I live by “I am NOT burnt out at all, I can keep going for many years,” “I know that people find me really cool,” and my now daily mantra, “I am NOT Cuckoo Crazy.”


Do you have any advice on how to get into the affirmation game?

My advice is to make some for yourself (or take some from @afffirmations), then try and abide by them until you actually see the change you want to see happening or start to believe it. They can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. It feels really silly at first, but once you get over how weird it can be, it is actually a fun way to ground yourself and boost your self-esteem a ‘lil bit. Only you can change your life and what you want to see in yourself baby!!!

This article first appeared in Issue 24, 2021.
Posted 3:36pm Sunday 26th September 2021 by Sean Gourley.