Great War

Date: Wednesday 24 April | Time: 12–1 pm

PlaceTe Ahumairangi Ground Floor, National Library, cnr Molesworth & Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington | Free admission.

Using stories, letters and film, Dead Letters, Great War Stories brings to vivid life the personal experiences of the First World War.

Domestic censorship in New Zealand 1914 to 1920

Hear from archivist and historian Jared Davidson, who has just published Dead Letters: Censorship and Subversion in New Zealand 1914-1920 (Otago University Press), revealing the impact of domestic censorship on the lives of radicals, writers, and everyday people during wartime and beyond.

‘Haiku’ film documentaries about the Great War

Then enjoy a selection of films from Anna Cottrell’s TV series Great War Stories, which reveal moving personal stories in letters and diaries, including some that escaped the censors.

Great War Stories consist of five TV series of short personal stories told through letters and diaries, many held in the ATL, some from whanau.

About the speakers

An archivist by day and labour historian by night, Jared Davidson is an award-winning writer based in Wellington, New Zealand. Through social biography and history from below, Jared explores the lives of people often overlooked by traditional histories — from working-class radicals of the early twentieth century to prison convicts of the nineteenth.

Anna Cottrell’s been making documentaries for over 25 years. She hunts out people with a good story who face life’s challenges with courage and humour. Examples of this include her documentaries Wahine Disaster, 50 Years On (2018) and The Kiwi the Knight and the Qashqai (2018).