The first issue of White Fungus was published in Wellington, New Zealand in October, 2004. The publication began as an intended one-off political zine protesting the building of an inner-city “bypass” which would subsequently rip through the heart of the city’s arts district, displacing artists from their studios and demolishing or removing heritage buildings. The first issue was released during Wellington’s local-body election. It was produced on a photocopier and copies were wrapped in Christmas paper and hurled anonymously through the entrances of businesses and cultural organizations throughout the city. The first issue of White Fungus is locally specific. It includes a history of Wellington’s Cuba Street, named after the ship Cuba, the second ship of the colonizing New Zealand Company to land there. There is a profile of many groups or collectives of artists which had been evicted from their studios due to inner-city development. There are also articles about the election and the history of resistance to the building of the bypass which dated back more than 40 years. It was first devised in 1961 by an American engineering firm after it had been tasked to create a comprehensive transportation plan for Wellington.
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