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US photographer taking Christchurch stories to world

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

American freelance photographer Peter Hoffman is gathering images and stories from Christchurch people over the next eight weeks for a project he hopes will help others all over the world understand what the city is still dealing with.

Chicago based Peter, who has worked with leading publications including the New York Times, The Times of London, Financial Times Magazine, The Wall St. Journal and The Guardian Weekend Magazine, is working on a web and print project which will record "real stories told by real people", a year after the devastating February 22nd earthquake.

"I am really looking for stories that illustrate how the earthquakes have been a catalyst in the changes people have made in their lives; nothing is too small. I'm not only looking for stories of struggle. If someone greets the day in a different way, or has reprioritised their schedule, or just doesn't sleep the same, these are all things that can be of interest to me. Stories of good that have come out of what happened here are really important for me to find as well. I know the resilient Kiwi spirit is keeping many people afloat," he says.

Peter spent some time in Christchurch several years ago and says this project is very personal for him.

"My time in New Zealand was a very important time in my life and in fact I'm a photographer because of my experiences here. I found it too beautiful a place not to start using my camera more seriously. While I wasn't here for the big quakes, this is very much a personal endeavour for me, returning as a professional to the place that inspired me to do what I now do. My mornings on Whitewash head trail are something that I will never forget and haven't since 2004," he says.

Seven years ago Peter took a photograph from a part of Whitewash Head that no longer exists as it has collapsed.

Peter has been able to take on this project with the support of people in the U.S. who have helped him financially.

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