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Songs of Protest At the Turnbull

Media Release from the National Library of New Zealand
28 May 2013

Songs of Protest At the Turnbull

New Zealand’s rich history of protest music is featured in an exhibition designed to be seen and heard, at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington.

Revolting! The Sound of Protest in Aotearoa presents images of five pivotal protest movements, in the form of posters, video, albums and photos from the Turnbull’s rich collections.

“More importantly it presents the music of the protests,” said Matt Steindl, the curator of the exhibition. ”Songs play a crucial part in our protest movements; both as a means of bringing people together, and also as a way of making dissenting voices heard loud and clear. So it makes sense that songs like 1981! And E tū are at the heart of the exhibition.”

Music plays throughout the exhibition space and five sound stations allow visitors to pick from playlists associated with pivotal protests, including nuclear testing, the Springbok tour and Parihaka.

“It’s appropriate that we’re opening this during New Zealand Music Month and that we’re holding it in the Turnbull Library, home to the Archive of New Zealand Music, and the world’s largest collection of New Zealand music,” Matt Steindl said.

Revolting! The Sound of Protest in Aotearoa runs from 27 May – 20 July at the Turnbull Gallery, 1st Floor, National Library of New Zealand, Molesworth St, Wellington.

A series of panel discussions on aspects of New Zealand protest music is running alongside the exhibition. The next is 6pm, Friday June 7th at the National Library and features artist John Lake, activist Sam Buchanan and protest singer Don Franks; entry is free.

The Alexander Turnbull Library is part of the National Library, within the Department of Internal Affairs.


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