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We Stand Here – the Christchurch Documentary Project and Children’s Vision for Their Ōtautahi.

Celebrating five years of the Christchurch Documentary Project and Children’s Vision for Their Ōtautahi.

Two exhibitions that celebrate recent UC student and staff collaborations within the community.

 July 10th – September 27th, Tūranga.

 Between 2014 and 2019 Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) Internship students at the Ilam School of Fine Arts (SoFA) were charged with documenting the people and physical environment of a number of Christchurch communities during a time of rapid change. Initiated by Christchurch City Libraries as a collaboration with Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project, the documentary archive housed within SoFA, this collaboration resulted in over 1,500 photographs being accessioned into the library’s digital repository and made publicly accessible via Canterbury Stories.

This exhibition recognises the photographers’ significant contribution to this public archive, and acknowledges the generous support and privileged level of access granted by many people they came in contact with along the way.

The intention of the exhibition is also to act as a catalyst for the involved institutions to consciously collect more content to better represent Ōtautahi’s bi-cultural heritage, as well as the many Pacific and migrant communities that call this place home. Archives of this nature, by definition, give a broad picture of life, time and culture. So what are the ways to encourage and ensure more inclusive representation of local communities within these ever-growing digital resources?

To this end, the exhibition of PACE internship work was conceived in conjunction with an additional exhibition, We Stand Here: Children’s Vision for Ōtautahi. While work within the PACE show presents a snapshot of the not so distant past to present, this exhibition presents an aspirational vision for our growing city by twenty-four children of Christchurch East School.

During a series of workshops delivered by Senior Lectuer in Photography, Tim J. Veling with assistance by Diploma in Art Curatorship student, Raine Angeles, students were guided in the creation of a mixed-media art work to embody their imagined city – a vibrant, diverse and exciting place they would be proud to call home. Their vision serves as a strong reminder for us to always look forward – to look to young citizens and diverse communities for ideas, inspiration and creative solutions. This city, our place, is always growing, evolving and morphing. We’d do well to listen to all they have to say.

Please join us at the exhibition to celebrate the achievements and voices of our students, collaborators and community.

Tim J. Veling
Senior Lecturer in Photography
Ilam School of Fine Arts
Director of Place in Time: The Christchurch Documentary Project