Tag Archives: Temporary Exhibition

Anne Frank Let Me Be Myself is Open

Anne Frank – Let Me Be Myself, the life story of Anne Frank, opened last night and will be showing until  July 2018. Run by the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, this new exhibition and its accompanying educational programme aims to inform young people about Anne Frank and the Holocaust, and challenge them to explore subjects like identity, prejudice and discrimination.

“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance and prejudice in action,” said Wellington Mayor, Justin Lester, who officially opened the exhibition.

“No one in 1933 could have predicted the horror their country would experience. No one can predict the impact of fringe voices in society. It’s my job and your job, our job, to give nothing to racism. We must stand up to intolerance every time we see it.”

Mayor Justin Lester open Anne Frank Let Me Be Myself
Left to right: His Excellency, Dutch Ambassador, Robert Zaagman; His Worship Mayor of Wellington, Justin Lester; Chair, Anne Frank NZ, Boyd Klap; Chair, Holocaust Centre NZ, Jeremy Smith; His Excellency, German Ambassador, Gerhard Thiedemann; Director of Education, Holocaust Centre of New Zealand, Chris Harris.

Lester went on to praise the people of Wellington for their incredible tolerance and understanding, particularly of new migrants. But he emphasised that the positive reinforcement of this attitude must continue down the generations.

“This exhibition will illuminate, insight, and teach us to never forget and to learn from the horrors we have seen.”

Peer guides from Fiedling High School giving a tour to Mayor Justin Lester and other guests. Peers will guide school groups through the exhibition, helping youth understand the effects of discrimination.
Solveig Ramsay, from Tawa College, shows Dutch Ambassador, Rob Zaagman, a ‘Jood’ badge similar to the one Anne and her family would have be forced to wear.

The Anne Frank House launched this exhibition as the successor of the acclaimed exhibition, Anne Frank – a History for Today, which has been shown in 90 countries since 1995. The worldwide launch of Let Me Be Myself was in Canberra, Australia, in February 2015.

Anne Frank – Let Me Be Myself will run at the Dominion Museum Building, 15 Buckle Street, Wellington, between May 24th and July 22nd 2018.  The exhibition has no admission charge and is open to the public from 9am – 6pm daily. For more information, click here. To book a school group, please contact education@holocaustcentre.org.nz

War in the Holy Lands – Cook Strait News

Our latest touring exhibition, War in the Holy Lands featured in the Cook Strait News in late December. Reporter Jamie Adams interviewed James McLean, one of the creators from Story Inc., who co-produced War in the Holy Lands and many of our other touring exhibitions.

War in the Holy Lands runs until 20 February 2018 and shows a side of the Middle East that our soldiers never learned about in Sunday school. Read the article below or here.


Cook Strait - War in the Holy Lands
Jamie Adams interviews James McLean, whose silhouette is featured as General Allenby behind them in shadow play.

Passchendaele Exhibition in the News

Camera and Bayonet feature in Passchendaele Exhibition

Our new Passchendaele Exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, has been in the news again. Both the Cook Strait News and Independent Herald ran stories about Jack Gradwell loaning his great-grandfather’s bayonet and camera to the Passchendaele  exhibition.

Despite multiple injuries and being gassed, Jacks great-grandfather, Captain George Gradwell, survived the horrors of Passchendaele, along with his camera and bayonet.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until December 2018 at The Great War Exhibition.

The front page Cook Strait News article is here and the Independent Herald article is here. Both articles are also below. The temporary exhibition is also covered on Radio NZ, Stuff and The NZ Herald.

Passchendaele Exhibition in Wellington


Horrors of Passchendaele on Stuff

Dominion Post reporters visited the opening of Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and described the latest in The Great War Exhibitions series of temporary exhibitions, as “encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele.”

Horrors of Passchendaele

Jessica Long reports online, on Stuff: “Five screens encapsulating the horrors of Passchendaele have brought the battle to life inside the Dominion Museum [Building] as the centenary commemorations of ‘New Zealand’s Darkest Day’ approach.”

“The temporary exhibition combines shocking images of the dead and wounded, and of the harrowing conditions in the muddy fields of Belgium, along with with words from soldiers’ letters and diaries,” she reports.

“The sounds of explosions hit the ground within the exhibition room as a virtual screen depicts the muddy ground.”

She interviewed Jack Gradwell, who loaned a  bayonet and 1913 Kodak camera, which survived Passcehdaele with his great-grandfather, Captain George Gradwell.

Jessica writes, “The captain’s great-grandson, Jack Gradwell of Wellington, said George miraculously survived Passchendaele but suffered for the rest of his life, having been gassed, buried alive and had his skull fractured during the war.”

Read the full article on Stuff, by clicking here.

Learn about Passchendaele talks, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, and other Passchedaele-related displays at The Great War Exhibition by clicking here.

Banner Photo: Kevin Stent of Stuff photographs Ian Wards, exhibition manager at The Great War Exhibition, with a mustard gas shell that was fired at the Battle of Passchendaele – on loan from the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917, in Belgium.

This is one of two gas shells that will be available for viewing during Passchendaele talks on October 7, 8 and 12. For more information, click here.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a temporary exhibition funded by the Lottery Grants Board and created by Story Inc. (concept), Dusk (visual imagery), Toulouse (technology) and sound engineer, Jeremy Cullen.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until early December 2017.

Darkest Day on Radio NZ Checkpoint

Today at the opening of our new Exhibition, Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day, Radio New Zealand reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui  talked to Exhibition Manager Ian Wards about the Battle of Passchendaele.

“The reality was Passchendaele was awful,” Wards says, “and we would really like people to understand that, but also one of the main reasons why [The Great War Exhibition is] here is so we don’t do this kind of stuff again.”

The Battle of Passchendaele of 1917, included the darkest day in New Zealand’s military history. 843 soldiers were killed on 12 October 1917, the most on any single day of combat involving New Zealand troops.

The opening of the exhibition featured on John Campbell’s Checkpoint show at 5:48 p.m. tonight. Listen to the Radio NZ Checkpoint podcast here.

See the Radio NZ article here.

Photo: Radio New Zealand Reporter Te Aniwa Hurihanganui interviews the public at The Great War Exhibition.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until mid December 2017. Click here for more information.

Passchendaele Exhibition – NZ Herald

The New Zealand Herald visited our temporary Passchendaele exhibition this morning, and captured the essence of the exhibition on video.  Camera man Matt Mitchell talks with Steve La Hood, Director Story Inc. who spearheaded the team of companies that created the exhibition.

Steve says, “We explore the darker side of the war, less commemoration and more explanation of what really did go on. All of the dialogue you hear is verbatim. This is what people said, wrote or spoke about after the war.”

Quotes from diaries and letters have been recorded so visitors can hear the ‘voices’ of Passchndaele’s soldiers as glimpses of the battle flash across four screens.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day is a new temporary exhibition about Kiwis’ experiences in the battle. The great grandson of one soldier describes the battle as “probably one of the most extreme human experiences one could ever imagine”.

Jack Gradwell has loaned his great grandfather’s bayonet and camera to the exhibition as a way of creating a more personal connection for visitors.

To see the NZ Herald’s video and article click here.

Photo: Mark Mitchell films Steve La Hood with Jack Gradwell, whose great-grandfather’s camera and bayonet are part of the Passchendaele exhibition.

Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs until mid December 2017. Click here for more information.

Virtual Reality Dissent Experience

Our new temporary exhibition Passchendaele – New Zealand’s Darkest Day opens on 4 October at 9 a.m.

Dusk and Story Inc., the creators of our temporary exhibitions have made a virtual reality  version of the current Dissent exhibit, so that it can still be viewed (using a VR 360 headset) after the new Passchendaele exhibit opens.

This VR 360 version will be available at the Passchendaele opening morning, October 4th, from 9 a.m.  to 12 noon.

Come along to see two temporary exhibitions at once and experience our Dissent virtual  reality!

Tour Guide Attends Dissent Conference

Kevin McLoughlin, a tour guide at The Great War Exhibition since early 2016, recently attended a Wellington conference, Dissent and the First World War, which covered dissent and how the First World War divided New Zealand society.

“I’m interested in history and technology, and the social impact of the First World War,” Kevin says. “When I saw the dissent conference programme, I was keen because of our current temporary exhibition, Dissent.”

The conference covered diverse topics such as policing the war in New Zealand, visualising dissent from an artist’s perspective, legal issues and resistance in Australia and Canada.

“Cyril Pearce, the keynote speaker from England was really good,” Kevin says. “I got to spend a bit of time talking with him about social issues resulting from the war.” Cyril Pearce, an Hon. Research Fellow at the School of History, University of Leeds, has complied the Pearce Register, a database of over 18,000 British conscientious objectors.

“Pearce talked about a survey he’d done on conscientious objectors, in Lancashire and Yorkshire, which are the northern counties with pretty strong working-class populations. The surprise was that a lot of the anti-conscription feeling was not coming from the cities, but from small clusters in rural areas, from villages that couldn’t afford to lose men in the war.”

New Zealand’s conscientious objectors to the First World War were treated harshly, with the Crown only recently pardoning Rua Kenana and apologising to his family for his treatment during the war.

“I feel conscientious objectors were treated very badly,” Kevin says. “If you don’t want to fight, you shouldn’t be made to. The attitude wasn’t a great snapshot of what NZ was about. I hold a man like Archibald Baxter in high regard, for his courage for standing up—a guy from a small south Otago back block, standing up for what he did, and what he went through. I met his son, James K Baxter, who was a literature teacher for St Paul’s High School, which I attended. He was an independent spirit too.”

Dissent—A Different Type of Courage, a short audio visual show, runs at the Great War Exhibition until Sunday 1st October 2017. Our next temporary exhibition, Passchendaele—New Zealand’s Darkest Day runs from Wednesday 4th October.

Photo: On ANZAC day in 2016,  a sculpture appeared on  Wellington’s waterfront to highlight the courage of those who refused to serve in the military. Story Inc. recreated the sculpture for Dissent, the second episode in our seven-part Chapters of The Great War series of temporary exhibitions.

Behind Dissent – The Green Screen Experience

Sneak a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of our latest temporary exhibition, Dissent – the story of how the war affected conscientious objectors, politicians, Māori and religious groups who dared to speak out. See how Story Inc & Dusk used  a green screen, silhouettes, and Brechtian influences to bring the voices of conscientious objectors, Māori pacifists, and anti-war activists to life, creating a powerful, emotionally confronting audio-visual experience.

A ten-minute audio-visual show produced by Story Inc. and funded by the Lottery Grants Board, Dissent gives The Great War Exhibition a chance to tell the stories of a different type of courage. The courage to oppose the war.

Dissent is the latest in Chapters of the Great War, a series of temporary exhibitions featuring lesser-known stories of the First World War, and runs until late September.  Our next temporary exhibition, Passchendaele, opens on 4th October 2017.

Archibald Baxter’s Niece Visits Dissent

Diane Dore, a niece of Archibald Baxter, one of the conscientious objectors subjected to Field Punishment No. 1 during the First World War, recently visited our Dissent exhibition.

Diane remembers how the values of Archie and his brothers influenced her life as a child. She toured the Great War Exhibition and visited Dissent.

She says, “The look in the eyes of the characters in this exhibition was absolutely fantastic. You felt you were there with them, reliving their harrowing times at their sides. It was heart-wrenchingly real. I also enjoyed Dissent, the exhibit on Archie Baxter, who was my Uncle, which recalled memories of objection to serve to kill.”

Archibald was one of eight children born in Saddle Hill, Otago. Archie and his six brothers became conscientious objectors. They were imprisoned for their beliefs, except Mark who, though pacifist, was exempt from conscription as a married man.

More information about Dissent is here.