Women's Voices - Photos and Videos

Women's stories about their earthquake experiences are available through UC CEISMIC in an oral history archive generated by the Christchurch Branch of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ). Interview summaries and sound files of recordings have been stored in a NCWNZ Women's Voices Collection in the UC QuakeStudies repository since December 2012. Now photographs and some edited videos of interviews with women who told their earthquake stories have been added to this collection and will also be available to the public.

The photographs and videos are the work of four students enrolled in the College of Arts BA Internship Programme. Students in this programme work with community and business organisations (in this case the Christchurch Branch of NCWNZ) on projects using skills they have acquired in their university studies. Three photography students, (Chrissy Kouwenhoven, Bayley Corfield and Elise Rutherford), and one student studying Art History, Media and Communication (Georgina Tarren-Sweeney), produced these visual additions to the Women's Voices archive during 2013. They have donated their creative work to the UC CEISMIC archive.

Bayley Corfield took this photograph of Jayne Rattray, one of the founders of the Rangiora Earthquake Express (REE). Jayne was photographed in her home office; the website of the REE on the computer screen behind her and one of her children's drawings on her notice board. Jayne was in the helicopter that delivered food to people without power or water in eastern Christchurch in February 2011 - simultaneously communicating with the New Zealand Police, community agencies in New Brighton and volunteers in Rangiora accessing and preparing food.

Leanne Curtis, one of the founders of CanCERN, the Canterbury Communities' Earthquake Recovery Network, was photographed by Chrissy Kouwenhoven in the garden of her demolished Shirley home. Leanne has been an advocate for people in Christchurch most affected by the quakes, but said little publicly about her own quake experiences. Women's Voices records her family's story as well as her involvement in post-quake community activism.

Jenny May, Heritage Consultant, was photographed by Elise Rutherford outside the Christchurch City Council offices in the high visibility gear she wore each day as she went into the city to examine heritage buildings damaged after the 22 February quake. In her interview she talks about leaving her own ruined home and the experience of repeated visits to the devastated and abandoned inner city. 

Elise, Bayley and Chrissy were supervised by Glenn Busch, School of Fine Arts. He is director of the documentary project, A Place in Time and produced the text for the recent ThX 4 the Memories exhibition, Worcester Boulevard, September 2013.

Guinevere Eves-Newport spoke graphically about her experience of being woken up by the 4 September quake. Georgina Tarren-Sweeney extracted this brief video clip from the interview Rosemary Du Plessis conducted with Guinevere in April 2012. Other extracts from this interview are available on UC CEISMIC.

Additional interviews are now being recorded with women in eastern Christchurch; women with limited resources; migrant and refuge women; as well as Māori and Pasifika women.  This stage of the project is funded by a grant from the Lottery Community Sector Research Fund. More stories, photos and video clips will be added to the Women's Voices archive early in 2014.

Copyright of photographs rests with Bayley Corfield, Elise Rutherford and Chrissy Kouwenhoven.  Copyright of edited videos rests with Georgina Tarren-Sweeney. Some rights reserved. Attribution to the Women's Voices Project NCWNZ (Christchurch).