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SNAPSHOTS – A New Citizens’ View

29 April 2005

SNAPSHOTS – A New Citizens’ View

The Contest On 19 March 2005 the Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust distributed 50 black & white disposable cameras to the Christchurch refugee and migrant community, asking them to document positive aspects of their daily lives over a seven day period. The cameras were distributed at PEETO Multicultural Learning Centre in Central Christchurch. The participants who returned their cameras were eligible for prizes. Amazingly, all cameras were returned.

The Winners First Prize of $500 was awarded to Elena Marguleva from Russia; Second Prize of $250 went to Nengwen Zeng of China; and Third Prize of $100 went to Natalya Matyagaina, also from Russia. Highly Commended were Laura Mesa from Chile, Vitaliy Dyblenko from the Ukraine and Mika Shoji from Japan. The Mayor’s Prize of $100 was awarded Mika Shoji.

The Judges The judges were Peter Meecham (The Press), David Morrell (former City Missioner), and Diederik Van Heyningen (Professional Photographer). Mayor Garry Moore acted as an honorary judge. The judges commented that “The wide variety of pictures submitted…provided a rare insight into the lives of new citizens…Some were of a very high standard and [captured] wonderful and spontaneous moments in people’s lives…We also found excellent a sense of place…and our overall impression is that the photographs are a celebration of our ethnic diversity in Christchurch.”

The Exhibition An exhibition Snapshots – A New Citizens’ View at the Centre of Contemporary Art from 3 to 16 May 2005 will display 25 photographs, the most compelling images from the competition. The event has tapped into the artistic flair of the often-overlooked cultures living in Christchurch and provides the wider community with a unique “insider” view of our refugee and migrant community. Expect to see honest human emotion captured on film by the friends and families who know and understand their subjects, and see Christchurch through the eyes of citizens who have recently adopted the city as their new home.

Objectives of the project include: Empowering marginalised communities by giving them a voice and providing them with an opportunity to participate in the arts and to exhibit their talent. Raising awareness within the wider community of the issues surrounding refugees and migrants in Christchurch. Creating a new community art event for New Zealand. A snapshot of life in Christchurch from a specific perspective at a particular point in time..

The Canterbury Arts and Heritage Trust (CAHT) CAHT is a charitable trust committed to furthering opportunities for participation in the arts and broadening the range of arts activities available in the region. A key aim is to improve accessibility to the arts and to facilitate participation at a non-exclusive level. Education through the arts is another main aim, as is the support of artists in and from the Canterbury area.

ENDS

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