Saturday, March 28, 2015

Translating conflict into art

A month-long creative event that focuses on translating conflict into art, not war, will begin at Victoria University of Wellington’s Kelburn campus on 30 March.

Entrenchments 2015 is one of a number of initiatives the University is taking to contribute to the centenary of World War I. Billed as a creative conversation, the event features the Canadian illustrator Julian Peters and the Wellington-based illustrator and writer, Sarah Laing. It is an initiative of the University’s Wai-te-ata Press and the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation, in partnership with the Canadian High Commission.

Wai-te-ata Press Printer and Reader in Book History, Dr Sydney Shep, says the two illustrators will respond to World War I diaries, letters and poetry, as well as to contemporary works by Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan, and authors Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace.

Entrenchments 2015 aims to promote cultural understanding and global peace,” says Dr Shep. “Prejudice, antagonism, territorial disputes and war often result from a profound lack of understanding and respect for differences in language, traditions, religion, faith and politics.”

A variety of activities will be held during the month. One will be Daily Despatches–visual interpretations of the daily tweets @LTCOLMalone of the late Lt. Col. William G Malone, Commanding Officer of the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. These interpretations will be publicly sketched on large glass panels. Images of the sketches will be tweeted using the hashtag #joinjulian.

Another activity will be workshops for students to translate the famous World War I poem by Canadian John McCrae, In Flanders Fields.

A paper roll pre-printed with this poem in English and Māori–billed as the world’s longest zine and called Zines of Peace–will be displayed at various locations on campus for students to record their responses.

The month will culminate on 28 April with an exhibition and launch of the creations, with illustrators and authors in attendance.

For more information contact Chris Wilson on 04-463 9498, 021 0525 300 or

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