CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND Organizing Enchantment: Collective Responses to Urban Trauma

Barnaby Bennett, Dongsei Kim2019-09-07

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Seoul, South Korea

In 2011, a massive earthquake hit Christchurch killing 185 people and leading to the demolition of around 70% of the central city. In 2019, a terrorist attacked two mosques near the center of Christchurch, killing 51 people. Both events had a massive impact on the city: from direct suffering and death to broader conceptualisations about its identity.
Following the writing of political ecologist Jane Bennett the exhibition examines the sense of enchantment and the public agency that was generated by the collective responses to these traumatic events. It tells the story of the interplay between projects and organisations and the experiences of enchantment they generated. Concerts, memorial services, and art projects are discrete entities that represent and capture public desires and demands and were captured by the people of the city as it mourned, struggled, laughed, cried, and played together. Behind these projects, organisations such as governments, universities, councils, artist collectives, theatre groups, design firms, and new NGOs organised the collective intellectual and physical labour.
This exhibition suggests that experiences of post-traumatic urbanism, perhaps counter-intuitively, offer creative, joyful experiences of enchantment that can affect the permanent state of the city, offering lessons for other cities globally undergoing slow or rapid changes.


  • Title: CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND Organizing Enchantment: Collective Responses to Urban Trauma
  • Creator: Barnaby Bennett, Dongsei Kim
  • Date Created: 2019-09-07
  • Location: Donuimun Museum Village
  • Publisher: Seoul Biennale Division
  • 사진 촬영 : Chin Hyo Sook

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