18 February 2015

Unitec students commemorate fallen soldiers through an interactive history experience

A collaborative multimedia exhibit revealing tales of home-grown war stories has inspired a new reciprocal relationship between Unitec and Auckland Libraries. 

The More than a War: Remembering 1914 – 1918 exhibition was produced during a series of workshops run by Auckland Libraries to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It included a story of love and loss recreated from love letters from the war years, accounts of women working on the home front and the war efforts put in by Kiwi kids.

Students were encouraged to use a variety of media to tell their stories, including audio-visual production, a digital touchscreen, video looping and blogging.

The exhibition was produced as a labour of love by Unitec Communication programme Leader Dr Sara Donaghy and Libraries Oral Historian Sue Berman.

The project was set as an assignment for the programme’s first- and second-year students, and encouraged them to make their own connections with what was happening in New Zealand during the war - miles away from the battlefields.

Sara says they wanted the series of projects to focus on stories from the home front, teasing out forgotten pieces of history and cultivating cultural responses from her students.

“We wanted to not just create awareness of World War One content, but to also bring a youthful dimension in reimagining and reinterpreting the war in a way that speaks closer to the students and their peers,” says Sara.