Toolbox Talk. Public Art in Post-Disaster Christchurch

Presented by Dr Martin Zebracki

30 minute presentation followed by focussed discussion

What is the role of public and community art in addressing, and redressing, urban environments that are distressed by traumatic events? Zebracki will present his findings from  observational and interview-based fieldwork conducted in Christchurch in 2018, as part of CARED: Community Art & Recovery in Environments Disrupted by Disasters. CARED is a research mobility project of Dr Martin Zebracki in partnership with Dr David Conradson, Associate Professor of Human Geography at the Department of Geography, University of Canterbury, and in further collaboration with local planners, policymakers and arts and community groups.


In the context of Ōtautahi Christchurch, Zebracki will analyse the extent to which public and community art projects have articulated and established space for social difference and members of often less powerful social groups, including gender and sexual minorities, ethnic minorities, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees.

The subsequent session led by Zebracki will set an interactive discussion about the possibilities and limitations for public and community art projects to contribute to a more just and socially inclusive city. It will aim to pool expertise and exchange insights to establish a space for co-learning across academic, policy, and arts agendas.


Martin Zebracki is Associate Professor of Human Geography at the University of Leeds. He has published widely at the crossroads of public art practice, sexuality, citizenship, digital culture, and social inclusivity. He is the joint author of The Everyday Practice of Public Art: Art, Space, and Social Inclusion (Routledge, 2016) and Public Art Encounters: Art, Space and Identity (Routledge, 2017) and is an Editorial Board Member of Public Art Dialogue. Zebracki is the Principal Investigator of the multi-site research project Queer Memorials: International Comparative Perspectives on Sexual Diversity and Social Inclusivity, supported by an award from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).


Contact Kiri Jarden, Principal Arts Adviser, Christchurch City Council