Moving towards safety: children’s negotiations of a post-disaster landscape (16967)
The human experience of disasters has been shown to vary by gender, socio-economic status, and a person’s position in the lifecourse. In this paper, we examine the experiences of children during the earthquakes of 2010-11 in Canterbury, New Zealand. We focus on a primary school and, using an adapted photovoice method, explore how children sought to creatively inhabit its environments during and after the earthquakes. The findings reveal the social camaraderie and stability the school afforded some children, many of whom experienced significant disruption in their home lives. The research also highlights the role of particular places in helping children to negotiate – and, in some cases, begin to come to terms with – potentially traumatic experiences. We conclude with reflections on the significance of school environments for children in the wake of disasters.