Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Walking the book

Fragments of the Great South Road from Public Films on Vimeo.

My feet are feeling apprehensive. Next Sunday Paul Janman and I are driving to the Puniu River, on the border of the King Country, and beginning a walk up the Great South Road to Auckland that should take us ten days and cover two hundred kilometres. I'll be using the walk to try to finish my book about the road; Paul will be trying to progress his film.

Here's the press release we're sending out today:

The Great South Road has seldom been considered as more than a mere thoroughfare by most New Zealanders. Filmmaker Paul Janman and scholar and writer Scott Hamilton want to change that. 

Between 6th and 16th of December, Hamilton and Janman will walk about two hundred kilometres from the edge of the King Country at the Puniu River up the Great South Road to Central Auckland. The Great South Road was built to bring a British army into the Maori Waikato Kingdom, and Scott and Paul want to confront some of the layers of myth and history that have settled on the route. They will show how the war for the Waikato still resonates in the twenty-first century, and how the Great South Road is still a route through which changes and conflicts flow.

Along the way the walkers will be joined by locals, historians and artists who will share stories of their lives and their local landscapes. The public can track and even join the walkers via an embedded google map and regular updates on facebook. Cinematographer Ian Powell will record and process additional analogue footage and film editor Corbin Beitelstein will make video updates of Scott and Paul's discoveries.

Funding for a book has already been pledged to Scott Hamilton for this project by Auckland's Mayor Len Brown. This trip will also give Hamilton an opportunity to finish his research and gather still images for the book. 

Now I've got to try to wear in the pair of shoes I just bought.

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great South Road collaborator Ian Powell is showing one of his early films on a large and old ticking machine on Thursday night.

1:13 pm  
Anonymous Ryan Bodman said...

Epic. All the best for your walk. My advice: take some of these - http://www.pharmacydirect.co.nz/blister-relief/

6:32 pm  
Blogger Paul Janman said...

Thanks for the blister relief Ryan and a big thank you also for your generous contribution to our Boosted crowd funding campaign. With help from people like you, this thing will really happen! Take a look here everybody: https://www.boosted.org.nz/projects/fragments-of-the-great-south-road

6:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like a self-indulgence in a world with so many urgent problems.
whinge about the past...why?

9:28 am  
Blogger AngonaMM said...

Unable to view all the fragments, which were more fragmented than you intended on 2007 lappy, but great to see that you guys investing in the shoe trade. A fantastic idea, enlarging the concept of Hikoi in the second decade. I guess this makes your team a quadruped-- a great way of remaining upright while having all the advantages of double vision and walking on all fours. Cheers. Bill D.

12:36 pm  
Blogger Paul Janman said...

Thanks Bill. Hope you noticed the flashframe of yourself atop Maketu when the word 'book' is spoken.

2:34 pm  
Blogger Paul Janman said...

Anonymous, the past is now, the road is a metaphor for the root of so many of our urgent problems. History is becoming anonymous.

2:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no your just avoiding the question. out of fear? I really hit that nail on the head ay?

you should explain why you ponce around like an adolescent instead of doing something real.

I have by the way been up and down the road many times. probably more than you.

7:05 pm  
Blogger Paul Janman said...

Not wanting to devolve into one-upmanship anon, I'd like to invite you to join us on the road in person and without anonymity or fear, share your allegedly informed insights into art, history, the land or whatever. Is there anything particular you'd like to contribute to this work? If no then please don't waste any more of your or our time.

7:16 pm  
Anonymous SH said...

I thought we'd have to get some blisters before we got donations! People are very generous. I was talking to someone today who asked me how the history of the Great South Road, and NZ in general, could possibly be relevant to urgent 21st century issues like refugees. I responded by sending him a link to this chapter from my book on the road, which talks about how it was the route of choice for some of NZ's original refugees: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/.../new-zealands... History is now.

7:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



10:14 am  
Blogger Richard said...

What urgent problems? The only way to understand the world, is through history and action. History is made constantly. There is no winging. Hamilton is mad of course, but he means well. Hamilton and Paul are, at the very least, enjoying themselves, blisters and all. It is interesting, regardless of any "do gooding" motivations. It is interesting to know about the past, and argue the toss about it. As Mao tse Tung said, an uneducated army is a stupid army. Maps and Comrade Janman are on what is de facto a re-enactment of The Long March (as in the Chinese Revolution which overthrew the corrupt landlords and beat the Japs) and and also, in reverse, they are countering history by marching back up toward the past, or from from the past to now. Meanwhile they aren't whinging, they are exploring and asking for ideas and learning. They have some historical knowledge, but they are doing - also - an 'On the Road' a la Kerouac minus the drugs and so on. They are reversing history in many ways. Cameron and the Whiteys are marching backwards into the past as the Great South Road and the devastation of the Waikato is undone by Janman's filmic techniques...Maori (or the ghosts of the ancestors) are advancing behind them in increasingly angry waves.

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