Taking to the streets lest we forget

Taking to the streets lest we forget

This week Te Papa, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are  taking our collections to the streets for an outdoor multi-media presentation as part of the Wellington City Council’s First World War commemoration programme.

The launch of Lest We Forget on the 16 October marks the 100th anniversary of the departure of 8000 New Zealand troops from Wellington for the battlefields of Europe. To commemorate this date and the significant role played by the Capital and its residents, we’ll be using public spaces around the city to bring the past into the present through a series of large-scale projections from 16 to 18 October. So when you are ambling along the waterfront at night, busy cafe and bar hopping or just waiting for the bus, make sure you look up!

Image courtesy of the WCC.

The projection sites are as follows:

Homefront 8–12pm, St James Theatre façade

Showing Wellington as it was during World War One; Homefront features scenes of children leaping off the Eastbourne wharf, families and young men lounging on Lyall Bay beach, rugby and tennis games, and local industry hard at work. The footage of a ‘quiet, innocent, peaceful, colonial New Zealand’ is juxtaposed with the ballots and posters calling for National Registration.

Berry & Co. Collection 8–10.30pm, 147 Cuba Street façade

The former premises of the Berry & Co. photography studio will exhibit images of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ – images of young soldiers taken a century ago at the studio – some alone, some with their loved ones – before they set off for the front line.

Berry & Co Photographers at 147 Cuba St, Wellington. Photo: Michael Hall, Te Papa.
The facade of Berry & Co Photographers at 147 Cuba St will be lit up from 16 to 18 October with faces from the past. Photo: Michael Hall, Te Papa.

Departures 8–10.30pm, Shed 1 façade

Film footage and images of the 8,000 soldiers who left on the ships will cover Shed 1 on the waterfront. The voices of veterans and letters from departing soldiers will immerse passers-by in the stories of those who once stood on the same waterfront, preparing for the long voyage ahead.

Wall Stories

As well as the projections, also keep a look out for war themed ‘wall stories’ popping up around Wellington’s neighbourhoods and throughout the CBD.

lest we forget posters
Lest We Forget posters in Cuba Street featuring Berry Boy Frederick Smith. Photo: Claire Regnault


Lest We Forget is curated by Wellington City Council in partnership with Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision (formerly the New Zealand Film Archive) and Te Papa. For more information on the full programme visit the WCC’s website here.



1 Comment

  1. Excellent article. Those projections look awesome!



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