Bodies, buildings and rhythm: emotion and affect in relocation from the Christchurch earthquakes (14067)
This paper addresses a series of changing relationships between bodies and buildings. It focuses on people who relocated out of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand which was made discordant and arrhythmic through seismic instability. Emotion and affect signal the impact that rhythm has on bodies and the ways in which the spatiality and temporality of emotions coalesce around and within particular places. A sustained focus on the embodied interactions among people, places and buildings can highlight the unconscious sensitivities that remain within the body, sometimes changing the rhythm and balance of everyday life. Fear of buildings and the collapse of concrete structures draws attention to the complex embodied experience of architecture. Fear affects not only the border between self and other, but also the relation between people and objects which are often shaped through historical associations that stick. Feeling insecure, vulnerable, panicked, (im)mobilised and/or fearful in shopping malls, cinemas, underground car-parks and so on, is partly place-specific but also feelings are translocal permeating multiple porous borders and boundaries. By discussing participants’ vibration sensitivity, and incorporating how cities too are a hum of activity, the role of bodily rhythm in constituting the social world and the co-constitution of ‘flesh’ and ‘stone’ take central precedence.