Mathieu Gallois, 2012
To Move Forward To Destiny Of Full Epuality* The Wellington Times 1944 – 1965 explores the representation of Indigenous people in the Wellington Times over a period of great social change (1944 – 1965) when Gallois’s grandfather was owner and editor of the newspaper. Between 1944-1965 the amount and style of coverage of Indigenous affairs in Wellington varied and evolved a great deal. The period 1944 – 1954 reveals little meaningful engagement with Indigenous issues. From 1955 onwards management of Indigenous affairs by the Aboriginal Welfare Board, and the tackling of the core issues such as poverty, racism, education, alcohol probation, housing, the segregated Mission Reserve and assimilation are discussed.
To Move Forward To Destiny Of Full Epuality The Wellington Times 1944 – 1965 consists of 21 A3 front page reproductions of the Wellington Times (one for each year) – all non indigenous news has been dramatically blacked out. At once this simple formal strategy reinforces the project’s theme – ‘black’ history in Wellington. The blacking out also suggests the untold histories of race relations of that period. Furthermore, this strategy inverts and subverts the paper’s editorial dynamic, which often (especially in the first decade) neglected Indigenous affairs. And finally as the years pass, and ever increasing space in the publication is devoted to Indigenous affairs (climaxing in 1963 when the entire front page concerns Indigenous affairs) the work both literally and metaphorically reveals Wellington’s moral awakening, the passing from darkness to light; and the town’s first tentative steps towards reconciliation.
*In the works title, ‘equality’ is misspelt as it was in one of the Wellington Time’s headlines that read: ‘To Move Forward To Destiny Of Full Epuality’.