New Zealand: the wake of the earthquake.

Monday 2nd June

Looking around Christchurch city centre was quite a harrowing experience for us. Even three years on since the earthquake, the city centre still somewhat resembles an abandoned ghost town. Half wrecked shells of buildings, construction and demolition sites and road works are everywhere you look. Of course we knew about the earthquake having seen it on the news in 2011 but actually being at the site of it and witnessing firsthand the damage to the city was actually very humbling. The afternoon that we visited was a public holiday at about 5 o’clock on a very pleasant, sunny day so the almost complete absence of people, cars and general activity was quite shocking.

 

What was nice to see though was the huge works of art and bits of colourful decoration that had been put in place by in areas that had been devastated by the earthquake. It seemed like the sudden bursts of bright colours and decorative art were meant as a positive response to all the ruin and we thought it showed the resilience of the community to still appreciate colour and art and beauty even after such a terrible event.

 

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What remains of Christchurch cathedral, the rest of which is being demolished soon due to it being structurally unsound.

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The scaffolding is holding up the back end of the cathedral until it is demolished.

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This building is being propped up by the containers.

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Blown out and boarded up windows.

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One of the worst examples of the damage.

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A vaguely humourous but sad testament to modern Christchurch.

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We thought this was cool though, tram tracks running through a shopping centre.

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There were a few nice places left in the centre.

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Interactive sculptures made from pieces of rubbish left by the earthquake.

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We’re sorry this post is a bit heavy on doom and gloom but we wanted to honestly portray the overwhelming sense that we felt whilst there.

 

Speak to you soon,

 

Ben and Jess.

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