Art & creativity  |  15 Dec 2022

Stories and photos celebrating the everyday people of Ōtautahi Christchurch will be on display at Tūranga’s Southbase Gallery this summer.

The Humans of Ōtautahi Christchurch project uses a format made famous in 2010 by Humans of New York and since adopted in cities as far flung as Bombay, Amsterdam and Melbourne.

It features photographic portraits of ordinary people going about their daily lives, accompanied by a short story written in the subject’s own voice.

“Everyone has a story worthy of sharing and each story is a gift,” says Humans of Christchurch Ōtautahi co-founder and photographer Centuri Chan.

“Christchurch has been a pretty interesting place to live over the last decade. The people have earned a reputation for having resilience, creativity and innovation. Our stories showcase many of these qualities.”

The exhibition marks five years since Mr Chan launched the project with the story of quake-crusader Flatman’s random acts of kindness. Collectively, the stories reflect the city’s recent history – a growing archive of the Humans of Ōtautahi.

“I feel enormously privileged to be trusted to take these Taonga and respectfully present them to the world. And it’s really heartening to see how people respond to them. We are so grateful for the support of Tūranga to give us the platform to share these stories.”

The exhibition opens on Saturday 17 December and runs until Sunday 12 March on Level 2, Tūranga, Te Pito Huarewa / Southbase Gallery.

There will be number of events happening in association with the exhibition including writing workshops and red chair chats. See here for details. 

First up is the Write like a Human Workshop: tips and tricks from the Humans of Ōtautahi team on their particular style of photography and storytelling. Sunday 18 December, 2 – 4pm at Auaha Hīhī / Spark Place, He Hononga| Connection, Ground Floor, Tūranga

Image: Patricia. Courtesy Humans of Christchurch Ōtautahi. Photographer: Neil MacBeth.