Podcast – Teaching war, teaching peace

Speak Up Kōrerotia logoChristchurch City Libraries blog hosts a series of regular podcasts from specialist human rights radio show Speak up – Kōrerotia. This show is created by Sally Carlton.

11 November 2018 marked one hundred years since the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War. The scale of this war makes a compelling argument for commemorating it – we must remember in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past – yet does this argument hold true? Guests are invited to ponder the question: Does teaching about war translate into teaching about peace?

Part I: Rowan Light (University of Canterbury)
ANZAC Day commemoration as teaching; changes to ANZAC Day over time including shift from veteran- to state-led event.

Part II: Katerina Standish (National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago)
Acknowledgement of violence in New Zealand curricula and its impact on teaching war and peace

Part III: Laura Jones (Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum)
The ‘Gallipoli: Scale of our war’ exhibition; role of the museum in encouraging audience reflection on notions of war and peace.

Transcript – Teaching war, teaching peace

Find out more in our collection

Catalogue link to New Zealand society at war 1914-1918Catalogue link to Johnny EnzedCatalogue link to GallipoliCatalogue link to New Zealand and the First world war 1914-1918 Catalogue link to Stand for all timeCatalogue link to The Anzac experienceCatalogue link to They fought for us: PasschendaeleCatalogue link to Anzac heroesCatalogue link to The story of the first world war for childrenCatalogue link to The Anzacs: An inside view of New Zealanders at GallipoliCatalogue link to AnzacCatalogue link to Remembering the First world war 1914-1918, Teaching resource  

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I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

CoverForgiveness is in short supply in this world. It’s a nice idea but it’s hard to be forgiving. I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity is a gentle memoir about forgiveness and perseverance, set in arguably one of the most unforgiving and hostile environments in the world – Israel. Or Palestine. Depending on your views.

The author, Palestinian Muslim and medical doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish, knows loss and hardship. He lost his three teenage daughters when a tank shell hit their home during a Israeli military offensive targeting their neighbourhood in the Occupied Territories.

Somehow, he’s managed to reject any bitter and wrathful feelings toward the Israeli military and the state of Israel in general, and maintain a hopeful vision for the future. Izzeldin is a medical professional who’s worked in Israeli hospitals, alongside loyal Israeli colleagues, who share common concern for reproductive health and children’s well-being.

Written chronologically, Dr Abuelaish recounts his early years beginning with his birth in a Gaza refugee camp. Then the story moves us along the road to studying medicine in Egypt, London and Harvard. A path which was paved with ongoing hardship, hard work, and sometimes, sheer luck. Almost every aspect of daily life was hampered – and this made his attempts at educational and economic mobility almost impossible.

Palestinians are used to negotiating labyrinthine checkpoints, bizarre and ever-changing regulations, and regular bureaucratic barrages. And it was no different for Mr Abuelaish during his academic pursuits. Somehow he managed to maintain his composure and sanity, and come out the other end as a highly regarded medical professional and the first Palestinian to work in an Israeli hospital treating Christian, Jewish and Muslim children. Really quite miraculous.

The military assault on his family home comes in a sort of looming climax that you anticipate as you begin reading from the start (after reading the synopsis on the back of the book!).

Despite the seemingly insurmountable hardships, its not a bitter or angry recollection and commentary, but a book which seeks a realistic and progressive (not aggressive) future in Palestinian/Israeli relations. Naturally the narrative is infused with personal impressions, experiences and details of family and community life which is written in such a way that makes you feel like you connect somehow. This animates his story and the stories of other Palestinians and Israelis.

Some might say he’s a dreamer, but so far it seems to be working for him as a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and highly regarded medical professional. You decide.

Quite the tear jerker. Check it out.

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Armistice Day in the news

Wednesday 11 November is Armistice Day, when we remember New Zealanders and others who served in the First World War and other conflicts since. 2015 is 97 years since the agreement that ended fighting in the First World War came into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background [193-?] CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0073
he Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background [193-?] CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0073
While Anzac Day has become the main memorial day in New Zealand and Australia, events still take place on Armistice Day. Using resources such as Papers Past we can find out more about how the day has been celebrated and then commemorated over time.

On 13 November 1918, in a article called ‘the city rejoices with wild enthusiasm‘ the Star records:

Never before in the history of the city has such intense enthusiasm been displayed as yesterday, when the news of the signing of the armistice with Germany was received. The people streamed into the town, leaving the suburbs all but deserted. Throughout, the tramwaymen stuck heroically to their tasks, this factor being a large one in the general success of the celebrations.

A year later the Press laments how long it took to move from an armistice to a final peace treaty:

Just as nobody imagined, when the war broke out, that it would last for over four years, so few people, on November 11th last year, supposed that the world would, after twelve months, be as far as it is from a return to normal conditions.

By 1935 another article in The Press states:

The celebration of Armistice Day this year will show, as previous celebrations have shown, that the anniversary does not grow less poignant or less significant with the passage of time.

This sentiment is still true.

The importance of being silent

Wreath-layingIt is  the 11th hour of the  11th day of the 11th month.

Be silent.

Contemplate this – and other – images.

Continue until 11:02.

Remembering Parihaka – 5 November 1881

CoverParihaka was a Taranaki settlement. In the 1870s, it was the largest Māori village in New Zealand. This self-sufficient community was led by two prophets — Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kākahi.

On 5 November 1881, it was invaded by militia and armed constabulary. The forces were greeted by peaceful residents who did not resist either invasion or arrest.

Over the next two weeks, the army demolished the settlement and eventually all crops and livestock were destroyed.

Our page on Parihaka details some of the key resources about this sad event  — and the surprising Christchurch connection.