A hatchback pulls up to a bus stop in central Auckland on Monday morning. Reams of paper, shopping bags full of food and a big printer are hurriedly loaded on to the pavement, then relayed through a door, down a set of stairs into a small, spartan gallery space. Two huge leeks teeter on top of the pile.
For the next week Fuzzy Vibes, a gallery on K Rd, will become a newsroom of sorts, humming with a team of urgent writers.
The group works to a set of egalitarian values and although Emil Dryburgh seems to be co-ordinating this first day on the job he can't speak for The Pamphleteers. They're strictly non-hierarchical and the windowless basement they're writing in enhances the Orwellian atmosphere of these young, well turned out revolutionaries. If Dryburgh had a moustache he'd almost resemble Orwell. He certainly sports the same short back-and-sides.
The first publication, titled Gestures, hits the streets right on time. As the writers return to their respective corners of Auckland they distribute the pamphlet as widely as possible.
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You might find one on a bus or a train. Perhaps it will appear at a cafe or in your letterbox. Best of all, you may be personally handed one by a pamphleteer in the most traditional style. "This character was common enough 300 years ago, but their presence seems to have dipped now," laments the first essay, Appealing from the Commons. "Little talked about these days, the pamphleteer seems to belong in secret cellars, tucked away with analogue printing presses. Perhaps they're all bloggers now."
Gestures contains four pieces by a partially anonymous quartet of different authors, completed with an illustration by Dylan Scott. M.R. writes thoughtfully on the tokenism of our country's multiculturalism. "Families getting dinner at the Chinese takeaways, taking their children to the Lantern Festival, but balking when confronted by signs that are only in Mandarin."
C.O. muses that "the changing of the flag attempts to disguise the maintenance of our cultural history" and J.A. reflects on the joy and freedom breaking the rules can bring: "Me and a mate found a couch at the side of the road, we were 15, we dragged it on to a nearby traffic island on a side street and sat on it, drinking coke that felt like beer. A woman walked past and says it's great to see something different around here."
Gestures was the first in a series of pamphlets published every afternoon this past week. Hopefully, you came across one of these stylish pieces of folded A3 paper during your daily commute. You can meet The Pamphleteers tonight at Fuzzy Vibes on K Rd as the group hosts a "Closing" event from 6pm to celebrate its daily press.