How Do We Care? Geographies of Art and Urban Recovery

Free Public Lecture

How Do We Care? Geographies of Art and Urban Recovery

Theatre 2, Basement Level
207 Bouverie Street


More information

T: 8344 9395

This seminar asks how we can examine, and responsibly engage with, distressed environments and traumatised communities within urban recovery contexts through the lens of socially engaged public art practices. This issue lies at the heart of Dr Zebracki's research mobility project CARED: Community Art and Recovery in Environments Disrupted by Disasters, in partnership with the cultural geographer Dr David Conradson at the Department of Geography, University of Canterbury.

The seminar focuses on Christchurch and discusses how this city has undergone a remarkable transition following a series of devastating earthquakes in 2010–11, which involved 185 fatalities and significant material loss. About three quarters of the buildings in the city centre has been demolished as part of an on-going US$30 billion repair and construction programme. In this post-disaster urban landscape, Christchurch acts as host to burgeoning publicly commissioned art and grassroots community art initiatives, making this city a particularly pertinent case.

This seminar will pool cross-disciplinary expertise to discuss (1) how community and public art projects may articulate and create space for social difference in a post-disaster city, and (2) the ways in which community and public art thereby may contribute to more socially just and inclusive urban futures. Zebracki will conclude with a discussion of the ethics of engaging local communities in art-led post-disaster urban recovery politics and how we may progress geographical research that cares.


  • Dr Martin Zebracki
    Dr Martin Zebracki, School of Geography, University of Leeds