If you follow me on twitter you may remember some talk about poppies – lots of them. Over the last week I spent a lot of time putting poppies together for a swish exhibition my design dream team parents were working on – Home Fires Burning. The poppies were part of my mother, Jane Hakaraia’s general design for the Museum aspect of the exhibition and Mr Michael de Young, my father did all the graphics etc. The photos above are my crappy phone shots.
Running at the Papakura Museum and Art Gallery, Home Fires Burning marks the end of an oral history and digital archiving project run by Manatu Taonga, the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. It collates artefacts and personal stories from Vietnam veterans and collectors.
Looking at the artefacts and listening to the stories is pretty interesting. Vietnam was a messy war and many of those involved had pretty strong responses to the experience. But also responses that they bottled up. Oral historian, Claire Hall says that many of the veterans family members were surprised at how much the vets opened up to her, as it was something that they had not wanted to talk about before.
With Anzac day coming up on Wednesday it’s a good time to be thinking about this sort of stuff and if you’re interested in wars or just NZ’s involvement in them I’d suggest a visit. There’s a lot of never published photos and some interesting recordings of veterans responses to the anti Vietnam protests back home.
Home Fires Burning runs at the Papakura Museum until the 28th of June and the Papakura Art Gallery until the 12th of May.