185 Empty Chairs

Tales from a Travel Journal Badge22nd February this year marked the fourth anniversary since the Christchurch earthquake that damaged the city.  We were visiting family who had experienced the earthquake we wanted to spend time in the city centre trying to understand the impact of the disaster on their lives.

Every few hundred meters memorials to those who died in the ‘quake are evident, as are the vibrant street art murals that adorn the sides of builds yet to be demolished (because of ‘quake damage) and those newly erected.

185 Empty Chairs Christchurch 2015

Each of he 185 empty white chairs’ in this memorial represent a person who died in the collapse on one building during the 2011 earthquake.  The plaques on the remembrance art installation encourage visitors to sit in the chairs and quietly reflect on the unique individual who is represented by the chair.  The chairs are not inscribed with names, although the names are recorded elsewhere on the site.

The installation was presented to the people of Christchurch on the first anniversary of the earthquake.  A red carnation is placed on every chair each anniversary.

Very moving.  I did not want to leave.

11 thoughts on “185 Empty Chairs

  1. Pingback: Some weekend reading | Sustaining Community

    • It certainly was. Even sitting in one of the chairs I felt so blessed to be there when that person was not. Also being able to reflect on the affect of their absence and how that continues to impact their families, friends and colleagues. Very emotional but so beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

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