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From viral art to tennis balls of protest: New Zealand museum collects Covid’s living history

Even as the pandemic rolls on, Te Papa Tongarewa is assembling objects that will chart Aotearoa’s coronavirus journey On a table in a back room of New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa Tongarewa, is a canvas bag emblazoned with an image of prime minister Jacinda Ardern as Wonder Woman. Below her armoured arms are the words “Go hard & go early” – the early 2020 catchcry to curb the spread of Covid-19 that the country quickly adopted. Next to the bag is a set of three tennis balls, with phrases roughly scrawled in pen: “we do not consent”; “hands off our children”; “Pfizer kills”. Anti vaccine-mandate protesters hurled these balls at journalists during a protest in late 2021, marking the beginning of an intensifying discontent among some groups over vaccines and the way the pandemic was being managed. Continue reading...
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