About The Cuba St Project

The Cuba St Project was created in late 2011. I started to consider the implications of the Christchurch earthquakes and what it meant for Wellington. I love the heritage buildings throughout the city and I realized the earthquake prone condition of many of these buildings was going to become a massive issue. Owners of these buildings will need to invest huge money into either re strengthen or building new ones. What will this do to the current community located in the street? What will the street look like? There are a lot of unanswered questions that the city needs to consider.

Over the last 12 months I have spent a lot of time walking up and down Cuba St appreciating the buildings but also considering who has worked and lived in the street over its 170 year history. I started to research online at the Turnbull Library looking for images of buildings and people associated with Cuba St.

I decided to take the Cuba St Project out of cyber space and onto the street it’s self during the Fringe Arts Festival during Feb and March 2013.

The Cuba Street Project was transformed into a Trans media artwork and was a great success. During the three weeks of the Festival thirteen businesses participated.  Ten site specific A2 panels were installed in shop windows from one end of the street to the other. These panels displayed photographs and written story’s about the buildings and the people who had been there in the past  Three shop windows also displayed large TV screens which displayed for  24 hrs a day a slide show of  images of the street.

As an added element to the project I presented a free hour long walk and talk of the street on twelve occasions. In total 61 people attended these walks.

The slide show and the majority of the stories from the panels are now displayed on this website.

I was very pleased to be awarded the Fringe Festival award for best Visual/Digital Arts 2013.

Some funds for this project where secured from the  Creative NZ creative communities fund, managed by the WCC city council . However I funded the  majority of this project  myself.

6 responses to “About The Cuba St Project

  1. Particularly enjoyed the past and present images! Was an interesting read and great to see these thoughts and all this information recorded! Cheers

    • Thanks for your comments Sandy, yes its very interesting when looking at what was there before and now. I think it is important for building owners and designers to consider the character of the area as well as the people using the buildings. I am not convinced this has happened in the past, but when we have an open public conversation about these matters I believe more consideration will happen.

  2. Sophie

    Hello, I noticed your poster at 136 Cuba St yesterday with interest. I write the Capital Day page in the Dominion Post and would love to speak with you for a story. Please get back to me so we can arrange a good time to chat.

    • Hello Sophie so sorry I missed your message. It has been very busy I have now de installed the exhibition but the stories and photos are still online.

      Regards Fiona Gunter-Firth 021 451977

  3. I am commenting here – as the email address telling me my comment to the Cuba Street Project was in moderation spat my reply back, and also the “contact” on the Cuba Street Project page is ALSO not working. So here goes. I love the Cuba Street Project site but it is kind of clunky in some respects and I think if some things were resolved it wouuld probably be more lively and fruitful. I’ve also noticed posting images is glitchy. This moderation of comments thing is quite painful. Especially given in the past it can take weeks for them to be approved and appear on the page. I don’t know how anyone is just supposed to create any kind of spontaneous dialogue on a topic. Just my opinion. I’m not even sure why as little as comments on an article praising it need to be moderated in the first place. If there are worries about spammers just enable a captcha or the like to prevent bots. Cheers dz

    On 31 May 2013 00:16, wrote:
    longwhitekid,Your submission of Revision # 1 of this item is pending review of a moderator. You will be notified of the outcome of the review.
    Thank you,
    The Cuba Street Memories Project
    http://kete.wcl.govt.nz/

    • Hi Thanks for your comments. I will address them. The reason I haven’t been answering comments is that I have been out of the country for some weeks. I haven’t really been active with the website since the end of the Fringe in March as that was when I completed the project to date. Re clunky, I suppose being a child of the 1950’s is my excuse, self taught computer skills are always a bit of an issue. I am still trying to work out the next phase for the Cuba ST Project. So any ideas as to where it might go next are appreciated. Time being an issue right now as I have another work project taking up my time.

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