If you wanted to see the latest Pecha Kucha night in Wellington, then : apologies, because you’ve just missed it. I presume that you know what I’m on about? If not, then go here and discover all about it. A global phenomenom by now, running periodically in 248 cities now, it was Wellington’s turn tonight (and a mix of San Jose, Maastrict, Norrkoping, Orange County, San Diego, Aalen, Columbia and Denver tomorrow night, and Beirut, Charleston, Ghent and Nelson the next night). That’s possibly the only thing that Beirut, Charleston, Ghent and Nelson have in common. Yes, they have PK in Nelson now – apparently even in Hamilton. There truly are no limits now.
But tonight was special – of course – because it was in Wellington. Pecha Kucha, known for its egaliterian treatment of all and sundry, with 20 seconds for each of 20 slides, treats every one and every image the same. The line-up tonight was great –
# Meena Kadri // design lecturer/communications strategist/academic//lo-fi creativity in India
# Ralph Johns // landscape architect // about new sea land
# Margaret Austin // about english language website
# Hilary Beaton // director downstage // cultural change within downstage theatre
# Craig Nicholson // valparaíso – port of dreams
# Sarah Maxey // graphic designer /artist
# Andy Irving // artist/designer // serious dabbling
# Philippe Campays // architect/artist // drawing the invisible
# Sheba Williams // artist //on shanghai sheba
# Meighan Ellis // artist // beauty, beauty look at you: an archive of curiosity
# George Hajian // graphic designer // change – looking in for inspiration website
# James M. Maddock // culture hybridisation: the aotearoa-new zealand experience
# Troy Donovan // façade designer // living in glass houses
# James Everett // game designer @ sidhe // making shatter //
And it was packed – to the rafters of the DownStage Theatre. There is an obvious air of excitement, of creativity brimming over, of caring, crazy, creative people keen to hear others talk and show their work. For some people this was a chance to promote themselves, their work, their website; while for others it was just a chance to show the world how their home town (ie not Wellington) is special too.
Craig Nicholson showed us amazing pictures of Valparaiso, a city on the edge of another continent, where streets are even steeper and madder than Wellington, and cable cars (ascenseurs) transport passengers almost vertically.
Meena Kadri’s heart-warming pictures from the creative poor in India, with vibrant colours and unstoppable enthusiasm driven by unimaginable poverty.
Meighan Ellis, with her unflinching (but occasionally blinking) portraits of boys: young men, really, although she called them boys and they are just boys to her.
And all the rest – fascinating stuff, and a firm reminder to go to the next Pecha Kucha night too. If you’re not off to Nelson tomorrow night, then you’ll have to wait till 2010 to see the next one in Wellington. Don’t miss it.