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Beyond the Cordon – Through the Eyes of the NZ Police


Thu 31 Jul 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm
Fri 1 Aug 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm
Fri 1 Aug 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm
Sat 2 Aug 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm
Sun 3 Aug 2014, 9:00am–5:00pm

Where: Canterbury Museum, Rolleston Ave, Christchurch

Restrictions: All Ages

Listed by: Canterbury Museum

The 22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake triggered the largest emergency response operation ever seen in New Zealand. The task of visually documenting the rescue and victim recovery operation in the weeks following the earthquake fell inadvertently to New Zealand Police photographers.

With the rescue, recovery and demolition operations going on around them, the Police photographers realised there were historic images that needed to be captured, that might otherwise never be seen. The 23 photographers took every possible opportunity to record what they saw around them, including aspects of the operation that would rarely be documented, such as the victim recovery and mortuary operations.

The photographers faced hostile conditions: smouldering rubble burnt through their boots, shards of concrete went flying as diggers cleared sites, and always the threat of aftershocks as they perched precariously on collapsed buildings. As an integral part of the recovery operation, Police photographers were the only photographers with long-term access to the central city throughout the following weeks.

Beyond the Cordon features many photographs that were published in the book ‘Christchurch 22.2 Beyond the Cordon’ by Hachette New Zealand Ltd in 2011. The royalties from this publication go to The Family Help Trust, a registered not-for-profit assisting at-risk families in Christchurch.

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