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Talking Culture Symposium - Conflict Photography

Talking Culture Symposium - Conflict Photography

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When:

  • Sat 4 Jun ’11, 10:30am – 3:30pm

Where:

Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Dr, Auckland CBD Show map

Restrictions:

All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Related Artists:

John Miller

"There is a job to be done...to record the truth. I want to wake people up!" (James Nachtwey).

Since the publication during the the Spanish Civil War of Robert Capa's "Falling Soldier" in 1936 (be it staged or unstaged), the importance of the role of photography in alerting people to the truths of the seemingly unending conflicts around the world has become undeniable. Such is the power of photography that it has the potential to sway public opinion to exert political pressure, as occurred during the Vietnam War when America was confronted with images such as Eddie Adams "Rough Justice on a Saigon Street" while flicking through a magazine or saw the unending procession of young dead men's coffins broadcast on their TV screens each night. The rules of engagement in conflict zones have changed somewhat for photograhers and other media since those days, with political and military forces increasingly managing what horrible truths we can see and know through embedded journalists, resulting in, for example, lots of cutesy stories about celebrity visits to raise morale of the troops.

In this symposium we are very proud to present to you three photographers (Veronique Cornille, John Miller and Tim Page) and one journalist (Jon Stephenson) who have set out to reveal as truthfully as they can the realities of conflict, from political unrest to war, both here in New Zealand and overseas. At a time in our history when Stephenson, our finest conflict journalist reporting about New Zealand's real role in Afghanistan, is having his reputation childishly besmirched by the Prime Minister, it is becoming even more apparent that we need to seek out the real truth tellers in our media and watch and listen more actively and attentively than ever or risk being fed only the constant obfuscations which keep us happy and ignorant. The great conflict photojournalist James Nachtwey has also said "If I can upset people, if I can ruin their day, then I have done my job". On that note, we hope while listening to our speakers today, you all have a horrible time.

Today's programme:

Véronique Cornille presents her project Kiwis in Flanders in Auckland for the first time. She is a Flemish New Zealand photographer and social historian whose work, photographing the graves and memorials of the 4,633 Kiwi soldiers who perished in Flanders in WWI and the 78 in WWII, began in 2005.

From Vietnam war and human rights photographer and UN ambassador Tim Page, to the anti-Vietnam protests in the '70s in New Zealand by photojournalist John Miller, the period of the late 1960s to early 1970s saw much expression of civil dissent against the New Zealand Army's and Air Force's involvement in the Vietnam War. As a schoolboy, John Miller photographed (with an uncle's borrowed camera) his first demonstration against a visiting South Vietnamese politician in January 1967.

"Susan Moeller said 'war is very photogenic' - it's also an adrenalin rush, exciting, devastating, horrific, heroic and hazardous to your health. The images that come from it define our history; possibly none more so than those of the Vietnam conflict, which has shaped the honesty of coverage ever since." ... Tim Page

Jon Stephenson is an award winning journalist who has worked in many war zones, he will talk about the role of photography in his work in conflict and trauma.

Symposium speakers and our MC will start the day at 10:30am. Admission is free.

1030am Opens

1045 Veronique Cornille - Presentation & Q + A

1200 Tim Page - Presentation & Q + A

1300 Lunch break

1330 John Miller - Presentation & Q + A

1430 Break

1445 Jon Stephenson - Presentation & Q + A

1545 Ends

Held in the Goodman Fielder Room, Aotea Centre.

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