Symbols of Christchurch’s past, present and future
UC’s Professor Katie Pickles reflects on how ten years on, the earthquake still casts its shadow over Christchurch’s past, present and future, in article on The Conversation.
Rupture with the past: the toppled statue of John Robert Godley after the 2011 earthquake. GettyImages
Far worse things happened, of course, but this break with the past came to feel powerfully symbolic.
My 2016 book Christchurch Ruptures was in large part about the risks of our thinking being trapped in the past and attempting to put things back as they were. Might letting these statues go allow the city to leave behind the colonial attitudes and practices they represented?
Instead, I suggested, we might focus on the contemporary inhabitants of the city and build on its historically moderate political streak.
This was just one of five such “ruptures” I identified that might guide the city’s need to regroup and move on. A decade later, I wonder to what extent those predictions have come to pass. Are they still relevant on the tenth anniversary of the earthquakes? And what unforeseen themes have emerged in the meantime?