Watch: Community responses to the Christchurch earthquake

Watch a series of interviews about creative and community responses to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes in Canterbury, New Zealand.

MisteR: Not So Grimm

Mickey Lin and Ra Thomson of fashion label MisteR lost their workroom in the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011. With help and support from many quarters, they were able to keep their small business going. Just 6 months later, they showed at New Zealand Fashion Week for the first time. Mickey and Ra felt their collection had been blessed with a fairytale ending, so they called it Not So Grimm – a metaphor for their journey since the earthquakes.

Host a Brooch

Jeweller Jacqui Chan created the Host a Brooch project together with Caroline Billing of Christchurch gallery The National, in response to the Canterbury earthquakes.

Caroline lost her own gallery in the February 2011 earthquake, so Host a Brooch operated from a shipping container in Hagley Park. Jacqui made a series of brooches from earthquake rubble, which members of the public could borrow and wear on expeditions through the city, recording their experiences as they went.

The Silt Worms: Origins of the Student Volunteer Army

Sam Johnson and Jason Pemberton helped establish the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) immediately after the first Canterbury earthquake struck on 4 September 2010.

Through social media networking, thousands of students and helpers volunteered to clean up Christchurch streets and properties clogged with silt and liquefaction. The SVA became a major force after the devastating earthquake on 22 February 2011, when Civil Defence called on it to be the first response to calls for and offers of help.

In recognition of his leadership, Sam was named Young New Zealander of the Year 2012.

Gap Filler

The earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 left many Christchurch central-city sites vacant. In response, Coralie Winn and Ryan Reynolds created Gap Filler – a project to encourage creative uses of vacant sites to bring people back into the city.

So far, Gap Filler has brought Christchurch residents music events, a bicycle-powered cinema and a book exchange based in a phone booth.

Rebecca Lovell-Smith: Sure to Rise

Rebecca Lovell-Smith lost her historic Lyttelton home and her shop God Save the Queen! in the Christchurch earthquake of 22 February 2011.

But through her design work and business acumen, she has been able to adapt and survive. Rebecca’s popular Sure to Rise tea towels borrow elements from the Edmonds baking powder tin – an iconic piece of Kiwiana with deep ties to Christchurch – to communicate a message of resilience and hope.