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Episode39

John Miller - Part 2

““Police were charging in with flying wedges….Shadbolt was leaping over the fence and getting arrested on the airfield…so I was anticipating things would get nasty in 1981””

Preview / 00:01:26

Full Episode / 01:02:09

In This Episode

 Part 2  (Find Part 1 here)

In this two part interview photographer John Miller talks with Denys Trussell about his long career photographing and filming protests, political conferences, demonstrations and art events,  many of which have been pivotal in New Zealand’s contemporary history. They discuss the  Springbok Tour of 1981, the Maori Land March, Waitangi protests, the 2006 tangi of the Maori Queen, Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu and much more.  In the second part of the interview John talks about the people who have supported and inspired him; his mother and family;  Dame Joan Metge, who he boarded with while finishing secondary school;  and the many activists, film-makers and protesters he has met and worked with over the last forty years.

John also reveals the enormous archival task that lies ahead of him, highlighting the need for a centralised national image archive that ensures the preservation and availability of important photographic collections.

As a self-described 'sympathetic observer' of anti-war, civil rights, anti-apartheid, anti-nuclear and Māori political protests, John Miller has captured some momentous events and moments in the struggle for peace, and in 2003, in recognition of his significant work, he received a Media Peace Prize Lifetime Award.

John attended Victoria University in 1969-70, and in 1971-72 worked as a Craccum (Auckland University Students' Association Magazine) photographer.  He became focused on the various protest movements taking place at the time; the activities of the anti-Vietnam War and anti-South African sports tour movements and the first Waitangi protests, before moving to record the historic Land March and Bastion Point occupation.  His work reveals the connections between peace and equality and shows that peace will not come without freedom for all members of society.

For more than four decades John Miller’s photographs documenting social and political dissent and cultural events have featured in exhibitions and publications, including the books By Batons and Barbed Wire, on the 1981 Springbok Tour; Negligent Neighbour, about East Timor, and Hikoi - Forty Years of Māori Protest.  (from The Arts Foundation)