The Southland Museum & Art Gallery Niho o te Taniwha in collaboration with Pauline Smith is privileged to present the exhibition DAWN RAID. Coinciding with the release of her book DAWN RAID, part of the My New Zealand Story Scholastic series, this exhibition gives a brief account of the dawn raids of the 1970s in New Zealand and the courageous activities of the Polynesian Panthers and their fight for social justice.
In the mid-1970s, people from the Pacific Islands were targeted by the New Zealand Government and scapegoated for the economic crisis of the time. The Government introduced the practice of dawn raids, allowing police and immigration officials to break into the homes of Pacific Island people in the early hours of the morning and demand proof of residency, permits, and passports. This was a terrifying and humiliating experience for many people.
Powerful and insightful, the DAWN RAID exhibition seeks to inform and educate about the dawn raid activities in 1970s New Zealand and the role of the Polynesian Panthers – a political group that emerged during these turbulent times. The Panthers fought for social justice and protested against unfair treatment and the oppression of Pacific Islanders as they encouraged immigrant families across New Zealand to stand up for their human rights.
The gallery will be themed as a 1970s Pacific Island lounge room, forming the backdrop for original artworks, memorabilia and photographs from the dawn raid era and informative, historical perspectives of the events drawn from extensive research and personal interviews undertaken by Pauline Smith. Screening alongside the exhibition will be two New Zealand documentaries; Dawn Raids and Polynesian Panthers: a documentary and the short film Milk and Honey.
Public floor talks with original Polynesian Panthers, Tigilau Ness, Dr Melani Anae and Reverend Alec Toleafoa and from the United States of America Black Panther and artist, Emory Douglas, are scheduled during the exhibition. It is both poignant and significant to have Polynesian Panthers and Black Panthers gathering together at the tail end of the South Island of New Zealand where DAWN RAID – Educate to Liberate, acknowledges their place in social and cultural history.
This exhibition will be on display in the Dusky Gallery from Saturday March 3 until September 9, 2018, at the Southland Museum & Art Gallery, 108 Gala Street, Invercargill.
108 Gala Street, Invercargill, New Zealand, PO BOX 1012 Invercargill, 9840,
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