Inside the Four Avenues – exhibition opens Wednesday 21 November, 5.30pm at Tūranga

Nearly eight years on, the yearning for a vibrant city centre still persists, but there is hope. Hope captured in the moments of collective celebration; the intimacy between two young students; the connection between friends and neighbours as they work, live and play – all within the boundaries of an inner city reinventing itself. In fact, more than hope, there is sense of quiet wonder and anticipation captured by Thomas Herman, Elise Williams and Summer Robson in the fourth and latest instalment of The Christchurch Documentary Project: Inside the Four Avenues, 2018.

Top images by Elise Williams. Bottom left image by Summer Robson. Bottom right image by Thomas Herman.

The Christchurch Documentary Project is a collaboration between Christchurch City Libraries and the University of Canterbury, School of Fine Arts. Internship positions are offered to photography students in their 3rd or 4th year of study with the brief to create a documentary photographic record of a Christchurch community. The work is then included in the Christchurch City Libraries Digital Heritage Collection.

To date, over 1000 images have been made of communities across our city; beginning with the Halswell Project in 2015, Edge of the East  in 2016, Bishopdale in 2017 and now the central city. Collectively these projects document the lives of Christchurch residents and the changing face of our communities as the city rebuilds and evolves after the Christchurch Earthquakes.

Come and celebrate with us as the exhibition for Inside the Four Avenues, 2018 launches at Tūranga on Wednesday 21 November 5:30pm.
The exhibition is on until 30 January 2019. It is outside the TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1.

Sam Depree-Ludemann, Team Leader Spreydon Library

An Evening with Lee Child – Friday 23 November, 7pm – WORD Christchurch

CoverLee Child has just released his 23rd Jack Reacher book – Past Tense – and I can hardly wait to get my hands on it. The only thing that could possibly be better, is attending ‘An Evening with Lee Child’ – but you also won’t be surprised to hear that this WORD Christchurch event is already sold out. With a drawcard like bestselling author Lee Child having a chat with local author Paul Cleave – it’s no wonder! There was much seat bouncing and skiting to anyone who would listen when I heard that I would be going to see the creator of the Jack Reacher series in the flesh. It is almost like being in the same room as the great man himself – and who wouldn’t want to be up close and personal with someone like Jack?

Lee Child is one of an elite group of authors of whose work I have read in its entirety – and eagerly anticipate his next offering. This doesn’t sound like too big of a deal, I agree; but I am actually one of those librarians who don’t read many books. Blame the alluring pull of technology, being time-poor and feeling like it is taking my work home with me. But for another tale about Jack, I will always make an exception.

With 23 books under his belt and more than 40 short story anthologies, Lee Child has been giving his imagination and typing skills a serious work out over the last 21 years. His books have been bestsellers and he’s sold well over 100 million of them all over the world. From a librarian’s point of view I can honestly say that they are rarely back in the library long enough to actually get shelved.

Now I can see how this is a wee bit like teasing you all given that the event is actually sold out – but don’t despair. You can put your name on the waitlist according to the WORD Christchurch website – so you might be in with a chance! I on the other hand will be there with bells on and will let you know what you missed from the comfort of your lounge room – so watch this space!

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A Fashionable Day at the Races – Leave your hat on

Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup Day is at Addington Raceway this Tuesday 13 November. Cup Day is known for FASHUN too:

Fashionistas get their chance to shine during the glamorous Westfield Riccarton Style Stakes Fashion and The Hits Body Art competitions.

Here is some last minute Cup Day fashion inspo, with a focus on hats, fascinators, titfers, and millinery:

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Bill Cunningham – famed as a New York street fashion photographer as featured in doco Bill Cunningham New York – first found fame as a designer of ultra-arty and outlandish hats under the alias William J. His memoir Fashion Climbing: A New York Life has lots of juicy hat stuff.

And of course, if you are looking for a contemporary hat goddess, you can’t go past the much-missed Isabella Blow.

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LOVE this hat and veil combo worn by Adut Akech on the cover of British Vogue’s December issue (coming soon to RBDigital Magazines for your reading/viewing pleasure)

You don’t even have to visit a library to get ideas. We have eMagazines as well as magazines in print. RBDigital and PressReader feature a range of fashion eMagazines, online magazines and newspapers including Vogue Australia, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and more.

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And how some historical inspiration – this stylish trio rocked Addington in the 1930s.

Three friends at Addington races, late 1930s. Source: Entry in the 2013 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Pip Joyce. Discovery Wall CCL-PH13-259

More fashion

Armistice Day 2018: Remembering 100 Years Ago

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of November in 1918, the First World War – ‘The War to End All Wars’ – ended; this day is known as Armistice Day. The 11th of November 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of this day. 18,200 New Zealanders died and 41,300 were wounded. Let’s take this opportunity to remember the millions of people worldwide who lost their lives in the First World War, and remember how horrible this event was — in the hope that such large-scale war never happens again.

World War One was the first modern war that made use of modern advancements in technology and machinery. This led to wholesale destruction across greater Europe, Northern Africa, and areas of the Middle East that would sow the seeds for not only World War Two, but the years of conflict in various parts of the world to come. Working class people from all around the world were conscripted to fight in World War One, in what was almost certainly an invitation to go die on foreign soil for an empire.

In remembering the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War, let’s remember the human cost of war, not just for the soldiers involved, but for entire communities, cities, and the generations that came after.

So at 11 a.m., on the 11th day, 11th month, let’s not glorify this tragedy, but remember the lives and generations lost to it.

Get involved with these events across Christchurch and Canterbury

At the Field of Remembrance in Cranmer Square, a field of white crosses marks the centenary of the Great War. 4389 crosses and one Star of David depict the heavy losses suffered by Canterbury families.

Nationwide Armistice Day events

You can see a full list of events across the country at the WW100 Armistice Day events website.

Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

Armistice Day and the First World War

Web pages

Just some of the resources on WW1 that Christchurch City Libraries has to offer on display at Spreydon Library.

Books

eResources

Britannica
Online and interactive version of Encyclopædia Britannica. All branches of knowledge are covered in this resource aimed at older students and adults. You will require a library membership to access:

  • Remembrance Day: An Article on Remembrance Day, the British Public Holiday that has its origins in the original Armistice Day celebration in 1919.
  • World War 1: The Britannica online article on World War 1

World Book

  • World War 1: A good comprehensive overview of World War 1 and its background.

Armistice Day and the First World War resources for kids

Britannica Kids A great resource to help kids with homework and other school work.

World Book Kids Online encyclopedia with short and easy to understand articles.

More Armistice Day and the First World War resources

Armistice Day is the last day of the Canterbury Museum exhibition Canterbury and World War One: Lives Lost, Lives Changed.

Canterbury Museum has launched an online version Canterbury and World War One: Lives Lost, Lives Changed.Canterbury Museum Acting Director Jennifer Storer says this will give visitors ongoing digital access to content and stories after the physical exhibition closes on Armistice Day, 11 November.

WW100 Infographic on World War 1
This is an interesting and easy to understand infographic that aims to prevent key information about WW1 in regards to its effect on New Zealand.

The New Zealand history page on Armistice DayWorld War 1, and Māori and the First World War

Poet Kaveh Akbar is no sheep in wolf’s clothing – WORD Christchurch

Kaveh Akbar is more of a shepherd than a wolf. The internationally acclaimed Iranian-American poet not only produces amazing thought-provoking poetry, but nurtures other poets to achieve their full potential too. So it was a perfect date for us to be hosting him at Tūranga, the flagship of the future. We are all about helping our citizens to access all they need to reach for the top.

Hosted by local poet Erik Kennedy, this event was held in the brand spanking new Tautoru / TSB Space, and brought to us by WORD Christchurch in association with LitCrawl Wellington. View photos of Kaveh Akbar and Erik Kennedy event.

Mr Akbar is a really nice guy. Humble and quietly spoken (though this changes when he reads) Kaveh kept thanking us for coming. When reading, Kaveh is animated, moving with the lilting rhythm of his words, his voice rising with the swell of emotion and experience.

An Iranian-American, he sees his poetry as:

“the membrane between myself and the divine…a new idiom for ancient binaries.”

Binaries such as solitude and community, decay and rebirth, literature and culture.

Kaveh has been posting interviews with poets making waves on DiveDapper; a website he created as a platform for exposure, promotion and connection. It has become a community, bringing poets and enthusiasts together worldwide. The list of poets on this website is impressive! Akbar sees this as a way to “push (his gratitude) outwards.” He further demonstrated this by reading two poems by New Zealand poet Helen Heath.

CoverKaveh’s book of poetry Calling a Wolf a Wolf was released to much acclaim this year. In it, Kaveh addresses difficult themes from addiction to desire; his poetry refreshing in a way that feels uplifting rather than downbeat.

Akbar’s work shares a sense of lessons learned and experience shared, as opposed to a self-indulgent train wreck. In all, there is a theme of hunger: for the physical sensation of being alive. Akbar’s poems grabbed me at first taste. Alliteration, onomatopoeia and themes of life, death and longing fill his poems. Addiction is portrayed as a kind of death; “a void to fill in wellness”. The poetry came from a need to fill the gap left after he became sober: “my entire life up to that point was predicated on the pursuit of this or that narcotic experience.” All this brings to mind a Persian poet who celebrated the wine and song of life, yet without the cautionary tale: Omar Khayyam.

In the light of current politics, Kaveh asserts that the ‘utility’ of poetry ‘forces us to slow down our metabolism of language’. A useful antidote to doublespeak, perhaps. He makes it sound like a science. And in fact it is.

Kaveh Akbar
Kaveh Akbar in conversation with Erik Kennedy. WORD Christchurch event. Tautoru / TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Tūranga, Tuesday 6 November 2018. Flickr 2018-November-6-IMG_1984

Although he now only speaks a few words of Farsi these days, Akbar sees feeling as a ‘universal language,’ one that we all understand. The purpose of poetry, he says, is as Homer put it – to ‘delight and instruct.’  So often, we leave out the delight, loving to lecture others on the way of things. Pre-sobriety, Akbar the poet painted himself as the hero of his works; a ‘gloriously misunderstood scumbag.’ A way of being, he says, that’s insufferable (I’ve dated guys like that).

‘So you’re the sobriquet of the School of Delight?’ quips Eric Kennedy. Sobriquet. Oh clever. Thus begins a new Golden Age in Poetry. The interview website DiveDapper came from Kaveh’s hunger for dialogue with other poets while going through recovery. It’s a way to share experience with others – ‘a vast expanse of empathetic resources.’

The internet has meant that ‘the age of coy diminishment of one’s passions is over’…it is now an age of ‘unabashed zeal.’ Eric:  Zeal Land!”

Kaveh read a number of wonderful poems from Calling a Wolf a Wolf. I love the titles – so real but imaginative. He really does have a way with words:

The last word goes to Mr Akbar:

“Poetry is the best thing that exists in the universe.”

More about Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh has been published by the New Yorker, The New York Times, Best American Poetry 2018 and The Guardian:

Poems

Bharatanatyam Group: Picturing Canterbury

Bharatanatyam Group. Discovery Wall. CCL-FlKr-6973578025. Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ.

Bharatanatyam Group

Date: 10 March 2012

A Bharatanatyam group performing a traditional South Indian dance, at Culture Galore 2012. Bharatanatyam is one of the Indian classical and traditional dance forms from South India.

Do you have any photographs of traditional Indian performances in Christchurch? If so, feel free to contribute to our collection.

The Discovery Wall is a large interactive exhibition which allows several people to simultaneously explore images and stories of the history of the people and places of Christchurch. It is viewable on the ground floor of Tūranga, Central Library, 60 Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand. Images displayed on the Wall can also be found on the Discovery Wall website.

Poet and Poetry Cheerleader in Chief: Kaveh Akbar – WORD Christchurch – Tuesday 6 November 6.30pm at Tūranga

… It’s exhausting, remaining /
humble amidst the vicissitudes of fortune. It’s difficult / to be anything at all
with the whole world right here for the having.

(from the poem Being in This World Makes Me Feel Like a Time Traveller)

CoverCome along to Tūranga on Tuesday 6.30pm to hear Iranian-American poet Kaveh Akbar read some of his award-winning works and chat with Christchurch poet and editor Erik Kennedy. This event is proudly bought to you by WORD Christchurch, in association with LitCrawl Wellington. Tickets are $20 waged, and $15 unwaged (plus service fees). Buy tickets from Dash.

Kaveh has won awards, and his poems have appeared in heaps of prestigious publications like The New Yorker, The New York Times, Best American Poetry 2018, and The Guardian.

Check out Kaveh reading Max Ritvo’s “Touching the Floor” and his own poem “Portrait of an Alcoholic Frozen in Block of Ice”:

He founded DiveDapper, a poetry interview site. It is pretty much the poetry equivalent of Jerry Seinfeld’s show ‘Comedians in cars getting coffee’, but in DiveDapper you get two poets on top of their games in conversation. It features a stellar lineup of poets including:

  • Jos Charles, “We must let our unknowabilities exist.”
  • Sharon Olds, “I write as much crap as anyone.”
  • Claudia Rankine, “I’m not investigating race as much as I’m investigating intimacy.”
  • and slam poet Anis Mojgani (who many of you will remember from his previous visits to Christchurch, slaying us with his potent words).

It makes total sense that Jeevika Verma in NPR refers to him as “poetry’s biggest cheerleader”:

He believes that everyone should be reciting poems as they walk into a coffee shop, as they do the dishes, as they go on with their lives.
“The fact that poems exist is the load-bearing gratitude upon which I have built my life,” he explains. “And what do you do with gratitude when it piles up? You have to push it outwards.”
He says it’s sort of like eating a Snickers bar. “Not sharing your gratitude is like holding a Snickers bar in your mouth for a week. You’d just get cavities,” he laughs. “This is what I want to do with DiveDapper. As far as I’m concerned, poetry is the best thing that exists in the universe.”

The event will be followed by a book signing, with Scorpio Books will be selling copies of Kaveh’s book. There will be food and drink available for sale too.

Photo by Hieu Minh Nguyen. Image supplied.

And in more Christchurch poetry news …

The New Zealand Poetry Slam Final Saturday 3 November

The New Zealand Poetry Slam national final is on this Saturday 3 November. It is the first time finals have been in the South Island.

The nation’s best poets will compete in a literary showdown on Saturday, November 3rd in Christchurch. Poets representing Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Hawkes Bay, Dunedin, Nelson and Southern Lakes will perform in a three-round poetry slam as selected members from the audience will judge to determine the winner. Can Christchurch defend their title or will a new city take the crown?
Featuring 2017 National Slam Champion, Christchurch’s own Daisy Lavea-Timo (DaisySpeaks), this is not a night to miss.

What: NZ National Poetry Slam Finals
When: Saturday November 3rd 2018
Time: Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm
Where: Haeata Community Campus, 240 Breezes Rd.
Cost: $20 general, $15 students

The winner of the Nutcracker diorama – A family challenge competition

We are happy to announce the winner of the family pass to the Royal New Zealand Ballet production of  the Nutcracker at the Isaac Theatre Royal! A huge congratulations to Alexander and Greta. The details on your entry were so well thought out and precisely executed. The moveable curtains on a mini-track and the LED lights along the stage line were an added extra. The detailed illustration on the paintings on the wall, the fireplace, the cut-out windows, tree etc are gorgeous. Thank you again – Enjoy the ballet!

Alexander and Greta’s winning entry (8 and 5 years old)

WINNERS: Alexander and Greta, 8 and 5 yearsWINNERS: Alexander and Greta, 8 and 5 years

This was an extraordinarily difficult task to judge! All entries were outstanding, and we thank you all for sending through such special creations.

Highly Commended Entries

One prize was simply not enough, so we have rummaged around to find some extra prizes to gift a few of our Highly Commended entries. Each of these entries will receive a goodie bag.

Audrey, 6 years old

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Audrey, 6 years

Sophie, 12 years old

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sophie, 12 years

Spencer family

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Spencer Family

Hanna, 11 years old, and family

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hanna and Family, 11 years

Rose, 9 years old, and her Mum

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Rose 9 years and MumHIGHLY COMMENDED: Rose 9 years and Mum

Have a look here at all our entries.

Another piece of exciting news! See an exhibition of Nutcracker Dioramas

We are excited to be able to display the entries from our Nutcracker Diorama competition at Te Hāpua: Halswell Library from Friday 9 November to Tuesday 27 November. Come along and see these amazing creations including the winner and highly commended entries.

If you entered the competition and would like your artwork back immediately, and would prefer it not be in this exhibition, please contact Clare at LibraryEvents@ccc.govt.nz to organise pick up. We know how much wonderful work and effort went into making your creations – and we want to make sure they are kept safe.

 

Diwali in Christchurch 2018

Diwali Indian Festival of Lights in Cathedral Square – Saturday 3 November and Sunday 4 November, 2pm to 9pm

Stage performances start at 5pm

Celebrate the Indian festival of Diwali with fabulous food and fun, in the heart of Christchurch. There will be Indian arts and crafts stalls and colourful classical and modern stage performances. The most popular of all Hindu festivals, Diwali is dedicated to the goddess Kali in Bengal and to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, in the rest of India. As with several other festivals, Diwali is associated with one of the stories about the destruction of evil by God in one of his many manifestations. In Jainism, where the festival is also known as Mahavira Nirvana, Diwali celebrates the attainment of Nirvana by Lord Mahavira. Diwali also marks the start of the Hindu New Year; goddess Lakshmi is therefore thanked on this day and everyone prays for a good year ahead. In many parts of India, it is the homecoming of King Rama of Ayodhya after a 14-year exile in the forest. The people of his kingdom welcomed Rama by lighting rows (avali) of lamps (deepa), thus its name, Deepawali, simply shortened to Diwali.

Sponsored by the CCC, the Indian Social and Cultural Club is pleased to bring to you a taste of Indian culture and tradition in Cathedral Square.

Diwali concert and workshop at Tūranga – Sunday 11 November 11am to 12.30pm

Celebrate Diwali with acclaimed local group Revathi Performing Arts. Enjoy a demonstration of Bharathanatyam, the most popular South Indian Classical Dance, then participate in a workshop. Bharathanatyam originated in the temples of South India thousands of years ago. Started as part of daily worship of the temple deity, this art form has evolved over the years to its current form. Free, no bookings required. TSB Space, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Tūranga

What is Diwali?

Diwali or dīpāvali, the festival of lights, is traditionally celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs with the rising of the new moon at the end of the month, Ashvin. However, in a country as diverse as India, where people from many different faiths live side by side, the festival is not limited to one particular faith for it represents the victory of light over darkness and the triumph of wisdom over ignorance. Throughout cities and villages the darkness will be symbolically turned back. Clay lamps (diya) will be lit in homes and shops, fireworks will be released into the sky and the streets will be filled with music. Read more in Simon’s blog post about Diwali.

 
Diwali display at Linwood Library 2016.

More about Diwali

  • Find resources about Diwali in our collection.
  • Watch a short film about the Rāmāyaṇa

Tāngata Ngāi Tahu – WORD Christchurch 2018

Tāngata Ngāi TahuTāngata Ngāi Tahu: People of Ngāi Tahu. Volume One is a new book celebrating the rich and diverse lives of fifty people of Ngāi Tahu. It was published by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and Bridget Williams Books in late 2017, and released to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the Ngāi Tahu Claims Settlement.

This WORD session was hosted by David Higgins, Upoko of Moeraki Rūnanga, with kōrero by the book’s editors Helen Brown (Ngāi Tahu) and Takerei Norton (Ngāi Tahu), and by book contributors Robyn Walsh (Ngāi Tahu) and Mike Stevens (Ngāi Tahu).

The book emerged from the work of the Ngāi Tahu Archives team on Kā Huru Manu, the amazing Ngāi Tahu digital atlas. While collecting and recording places names around Te Waipounamu, the research team realised they were also discovering the names and stories of people who were the very heart of Ngāi Tahu whakapapa. This book is intended to be the first of a series born out of the work of the atlas, and a second volume is already in process.

The individual biographies in Tāngata Ngāi Tahu cover 200 years of Ngāi Tahu whānau history, producing a ‘tribal family album’ of stories and images. Editor Helen Brown talked about how among the stories of the ordinary, often household names in te iwi, have been revealed the extraordinary lives of so many Ngāi Tahu people.

The book has been arranged by person/name, which Helen said gives a more nuanced history than a book based on themes or a more traditional history book arrangement, perhaps in alphabetical or chronological order. The order of the book does invoke a back-and-forth journey across time, with people from the 1800s to more recent times spread at random throughout the book. The effect embraces serendipity, with a mix of stunning, historical black-and-white photographs between more modern colour images drawing the reader into the rich history within.

Each biography had a limit of 1000 words, and editing to this limit Helen described as often excruciating. “Whole books are needed,” she said. Perhaps for individual whānau this book will plant the seed to pick up the stories and expand on them for their own tīpuna?

The biographies have been written by a team of writers, whose writing experience in this context Helen described as ranging from gathering the purely anecdotal to more academic pursuits. We were lucky to have some of the writers present in the team of speakers at the WORD event, and each speaker featured an individual from the book, giving the audience a summary of their whakapapa and life.

Robyn Walsh talked about her mother Dorothy Te Mahana Walsh of Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu decent, a leader heavily involved in the ‘hui hopping’ during the Waitangi Tribunal Hearings and a keen performer who travelled to San Francisco supporting the Te Māori exhibition. Robyn concluded “we need and must remember these histories and people.”

Others spoken about on the day were Amiria Puhirere – a stunning figure standing in her full-length korowai in the photo on page 86, she was a prominent leader and renowned weaver who lived at Ōnukū on the Akaroa Harbour; Trevor Hapi Howse – a major part of the research team that led the long work for Ngāi Tahu Te Kerēme/the Ngāi Tahu Waitangi Claim and a key figure in the Kā Huru Manu project; and William Te Paro Spencer – a seafaring kaumātua and muttonbirder, described as “proudly and strongly Ngāi Tahu” and “very much a Bluff local but wordly with it”.

As mentioned above, one of the strong features of the book are the photographs, many of which are from iwi archives and other private collections, and often have not been published or displayed outside the embrace of whānau before. It is clear that it is something special these photos are being shared not only with iwi whānui but with the whole country, and such a personal act of whakawhanaungatanga is to be valued and cherished.

Although the prime audience for the book is Ngāi Tahu tāngata there has been huge interest in it since media company The Spinoff published an article about Mere Harper, who helped setup the Plunket organisation. The audience has since become national and international, with a strong focus on the book’s contribution to the historical narrative of Aotearoa.

Read a book review of Tāngata Ngāi Tahu.