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Cenotaph Stories: Contemporary Reflections

In May of 2020, the Online Cenotaph team received a $5,000 grant from  Copyright Licensing New Zealand. CLNZ's special Round of its Contestable Fund Grants were created to support short-term projects that arose or had been developed to respond to the changed environment in the New Zealand writing and publishing sector during COVID-19. 

The Cenotaph Stories: Contemporary Reflections project explores the concept that our fight against COVID-19 has been “like a war”. The grant aimed to capture contemporary responses to COVID-19 by exploring the similarities, parallels, and perspectives that emerge from considering the pandemic response in the contexts of peace and conflict, and remembrance and commemoration.

Our five recipents have each written unique and compelling reflections that you can read below.

  • I am the process not the product

    Dina Jezdic
    Contemporary Reflections Grant Recipient

    Dina Jezdic reflects on her experiences as a child leaving Belgrade and arriving in New Zealand, and how New Zealand's first Covid-19 lock down transported her mind back to memories of Belgrade, and those times of constant awareness of politics and uncertainty.

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  • Back in my day, flour was a precious commodity!

    FotuoSamoa Jody Jackson-Becerra
    Contemporary Reflections Grant Recipient

    "Gather around tamaiti, because I have a story to tell." FotuoSamoa Jody Jackson-Becerra shares a talatu’u, a story about a time, when everything changed. The year was 2020.

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  • Life on the curve: stories of essential workers in times of war

    Virginia Gow
    Contemporary Reflections Grant Recipient

    Virginia Gow comes from a family of medical specialists and essential health workers, some who served in the First World War and the 1918 influenza pandemic, allows for an interesting outsider-insider vantage point on the concept that our fight against Covid-19 has been like a war.

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  • Reflections in the Port: Pandemics & the Moana Cosmopolitan

    Emily Parr
    Contemporary Reflections Grant Recipient

    Emily Parr reflects on the fifty three years that have passed between her and her great-great-grandmother; Louisa Kronfeld, and the stories and experiences that connect them across the Moananui-a-Kiwa.

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  • Reflections from Māhia

    Jason Renes
    Contemporary Reflections Grant Recipient

    The link between Rongomaiwahine’s fight against COVID-19 and my whanaunga’s World War 1 experience is how the memory of loss leads to the protection of whakapapa. In this piece Jason Renes explores his whānau biography and the memory of loss.

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