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PHILLIPS, Kendall R. & Connah Podmore

Winter 2020, 50.1, pages: 35-52

The Scale of Our Memory: Spectacle in the Commemoration of Gallipoli


The centennial of the First World War constituted a major event for many nations. For New Zealand, much of the memorialization focused on the campaign at Gallipoli, which has become an important part of the nation’s identity. This essay examines one of the official memorials to Gallipoli, a large exhibition entitled “The Scale of Our War.” Designed in conjunction with filmmaker Sir Richard Taylor and his Weta Studio, the exhibition combines artifacts and displays with larger than life hyperrealistic figures. Focusing on the cinematic framing of the exhibition, we question the rhetorical limits of media technologies in creating immersive experiences for patrons. We suggest that the spectacle of the cinematic framing of remembrance may overshadow the events being remembered.

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