Sewing Freedom: Philip Josephs, Transnationalism & Early New Zealand Anarchism
Sewing Freedom is the first in-depth study of anarchism in New Zealand during the turbulent years of the early 20th century—a time of wildcat strikes, industrial warfare and a radical working class counter-culture. Interweaving biography, cultural history and an array of archival sources, this engaging account unravels the anarchist-cum-bomber stereotype by piecing together the life of Philip Josephs—a Latvian-born Jewish tailor, anti-militarist and founder of the Wellington Freedom Group. Anarchists like Josephs not only existed in the ‘Workingman’s Paradise’ that was New Zealand, but were a lively part of its labour movement and the class struggle that swept through the country, imparting uncredited influence and ideas. Sewing Freedom places this neglected movement within the global anarchist upsurge, and unearths the colourful activities of New Zealand’s most radical advocates for social and economic change.
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Remains to be Seen traces the ashes of Joe Hill from their distribution in Chicago to wartime New Zealand. Drawing on previously unseen archival material, it examines the persecution of anarchists, socialists and Wobblies in New Zealand during the First World War. It also explores how intense censorship measures—put in place by the National Coalition Government of William Massey and zealously enforced by New Zealand’s Solicitor-General, Sir John Salmond—effectively silenced and suppressed the IWW in New Zealand.
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Socialist Cross of Honor: markings of a working class counter-culture
In July 1911 William Cornish Jnr, a young conscientious objector from Brooklyn, Wellington, stood before Magistrate Riddell on charges of refusing to register under the Defence Act. He was jailed and later received the Socialist Cross of Honor, a medal produced by the New Zealand Socialist Party in 1911. This (now rare) medal played a pivotal role in fostering both resistance to militarism and a radical working class counter-culture In New Zealand.
Published by LHP Newsletter 55 (August 2012).
Published by LHP Newsletter 55 (August 2012).
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Philip Josephs - early anarchist in New Zealand
The term ‘Jewish anarchist’ may seem like a paradox. Yet for many Jewish radicals who fought for social change throughout the twentieth century, the combination was a natural one. From London’s East End to Wellington, New Zealand, Jewish anarchists sought to organise their fellow Yiddish-speaking workers—using the immigrant workers’ Jewish identity as a springboard for solidarity and class struggle... Philip Josephs—tailor, anarchist, and anti-militarist—was a part of this international movement, as well as an influential figure in the New Zealand labour movement.
Reflection on archival encounters, the discovery and use of provenance search methods, and grappling with archival gaps from a user perspective. The text explores how provenance helped as a tool to navigate the previously hidden relationships between the departments and their agents in charge of wartime censorship—how it allowed me, as the user, to get a better picture of where the interaction between Joe Hill and the New Zealand State may have taken place, and how the preservation of that interaction through time and space is due to archival principles such as provenance.
Published by Archifacts October 2011-April 2012 (Journal of the Archives & Records Association of New Zealand).
Published by the New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal (Vol 52, Issue No 3 Oct 2011).
The public library has been used by many, if not most, members of society—from toddlers to lifelong learners. Yet how many people have ever used an archive? How many know where their local archive is, or why it exists? Archives—to create awareness and promote use—have embraced digital technology. However the move from onsite to online has raised a number of concerns, from the loss of archival principles to the provision of far-from-effective service. This essay looks at the balance of digital service and archival principles.
From the arrival of colliers in the 1870s to New Zealand’s biggest strikes, miners have played an active part in the struggle against capitalism. As Len Richardson points out: ‘Coalminers occupy a special place in the history of industrial radicalism in New Zealand’. Socialists of many shades considered them ‘a revolutionary vanguard destined to bring capitalism to its knees’—to employers they were troublemakers holding back the progress of modern development. Regardless of how they are painted, there is no doubting the importance of miners in New Zealand’s labour history.
Anarcho-syndicalism in the 20th Century is a broad survey of a movement often marginalised by classical Marxist academics, and is a welcome addition to the existing literature on anarcho-syndicalism. As Damier illustrates, anarcho-syndicalism was far from a outmoded, ineffective or petty-bourgeois movement — the practice of direct action and revolutionary struggle controlled and self-managed by the workers themselves extended to all countries of the world.
Published by Anarcho-Syndicalist Review, #54 (Summer 2010).
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If graphic design is understood as the expression and reflection of a particular set of values, systems and interests, then most artistic practice today tends to express the interests of the class that controls and profits from society. It is these interests that dominate the standards of value in design, defines its emphasis, and excludes its more subversive, egalitarian alternatives.
Originally self-published (2009), it has since been made required reading at the University of Michigan (US), and the University of Victoria (Canada).
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Radio New Zealand National feature on Joe Hill and the IWW in New Zealand, based on Remains to be Seen. (47′06″)
Produced by Jack Perkins of Radio NZ (October 2011).