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Showing posts from February, 2019

The Hero Parade’s Seven Fabulous Outings

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Auckland’s popular lesbian and gay Hero Parade debuted along Queen Street in 1994. Around 10,000 spectators enjoyed the mardi gras-style floats and costumes including drag acts, leather men in jockstraps, and a couple writhing suggestively in a large see-through balloon. However, not everyone was happy. Deputy Mayor David Hay was outraged to have bare-breasted women and transvestites in the main street. “It’s not what the silent majority want to see in our city,” he said. Not everyone in the gay and lesbian community was happy with the parade’s sexually explicit content, either. The Gaily Normal group formed to encourage a more inclusive view. Spokesman Neil Stephenson wanted to see more intimacy presented in future. “[The] general public see us as sexual creatures flaunting sex, but really we aren’t. We are just average people and what we do behind closed doors is our business,” he said.


Evangelist Julian Batchelor organised a letter-writing campaign and over 200 letters arrived at A…

Vojtěch Kubašta - pop-up book creator

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An important designer and illustrator of pop-up books in the twentieth century was Vojtěch Kubašta, whose pop-up versions of 'Snow White' and 'Cinderella' are displayed in the first case of the Playful pop-up books exhibition, alongside the nativity scene from his 'A Christmas Tale'.


Kubašta was born in Vienna in 1914, but he lived in Prague for most of his life. He wanted to become an artist from a young age. To please his father, he studied architecture and civil engineering at university instead. However, he only worked as an architect for a short time, and from the early 1940s worked instead as a commercial artist and book designer.


The publishing industry in Czechoslovakia was nationalised by the communist government in 1948; censorship became much tighter, and more than 370 publishing houses were closed down. Kubašta had to find new kinds of work. He designed advertisements to market Czech products internationally, and created three-dimensional cards to…