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Came in the picture – Gisborne Herald

Photographers can be seen behind the camera, not in front of it.

It centered on photographer Ann Vestra until actress and director Martin Bonfinger decided to change the lens for his latest play Aperture.

Vistra is best known for the controversial school publication Washt at the Pascal, which documented a rural Mori family in Rotoria.

The bulletin was printed, commemorated and destroyed by the New Zealand government in 1964.

“This piece is a mix of his life and his work,” says Bonfinger.

Bonfinger, who wrote the award-winning Soliduet play, shares a kind of history with Vistra.

Both are citizens of the Netherlands and emigrated to Oterova, despite a gap of five decades.

“The way the community is here and the way people live their lives is very different than in the Netherlands. It connected me, ”says Bonfinger.

When Bonwinger first visited New Zealand twenty years ago, he was immediately shocked to see pictures of Vestra in De Papa.

The seeds of the play were then sown and Vestra was asked to create the script.

The hole is a photograph of Vestra’s childhood in the Netherlands, his trip to New Zealand and his career as a photographer.

In 1957 Vistra emigrated from the Netherlands and began taking pictures of his new homeland.

Inspired by Mori culture, he created a close and historical document of rural Mori life, with urban drift driving them from homes to city centers for work.

Washt at the Pa was published in 1964 by the Department of School Publications in the Department of Education.

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This pamphlet lists one day in the life of a rural Maori family with nine children.

Some people saw the first pictures as an attack.

The Maori Women’s Welfare Association criticized Vestra’s photos at its conference, saying they were false and ineffective.

They argued that substandard living conditions were bad and that the oldest Maori stereotypes.

As the bulletin proved to be highly controversial, the government recalled 38,000 copies of Washtay in the Palestinian Authority.

Vistra, who has lived in rural Morris for several months, acknowledged some of the criticism and later said that the book would have been even better if it had been published privately.

But the argument that the pictures were “wrong” misled itself.

In 1961, nearly 30 percent of Maori homes had no hot water, more than 20 percent had no bath or shower, more than 40 percent had no toilet, and more than 70 percent relied on open fire. An editorial in Christchurch Publishing. .

But Vestra loses focus on living conditions.

“The brochure is not intended to represent the typical Mரிori family. It is only the story of a happy family living on land. It shows the warmth of family relationships,” Vistra said at the time.

Bonfinger says the piece helps the viewer understand how Anas works.

“If Ann focuses on one thing, she will zoom in and go for everything,” says Bonwinger.

Bonfinger says the piece helps us understand how Vintra became somewhat invisible when she was a very notable character in the countryside.

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“He clearly noticed it, especially when he photographed the rural Mori area in the 1960s. It was Bucky, Dutch and big.”

“So, she figured out how to build trust with her citizens, how to be in their presence, how to be comfortable with them. She’s a real woman.”

This piece helps to highlight the issues of Vestra’s works, but also introduces the viewer to his beginnings in a new country and how he came to be the person behind the camera.

Bonfinger says the piece is among the many topics that people are interested in, be it art, history, photography or Wagababa.

Bonfinger says many of the people in the washtag in the Bon films will be relatives of the people in Thyrot who will appear in the piece.

“People can come to see their ancestors, or uncles and aunts.

“There are a lot of hooks that people can identify with in this performance.”

Opening: Life and Work of Anas Vestra, Lawson Field Theater, Wednesday, July 14, 7.30pm. Ticket to ticket.

In front of the lens: Actress and director Martin Bonfinger was so inspired by the story of photographer Anas Vestra that he apertured the play. Photo provided