Welcome from the LOC Chair

Donald Matheson, Chair of the LOC

IAMCR 2024 will be held in Aotearoa New Zealand, from 30 June to 4 July, in a 3-year-old conference centre by the river in the heart of Ōtautahi Christchurch. We look forward to welcoming you to our city for the first conference in this corner of the world in 28 years. Aotearoa, known as New Zealand in English, was founded on a bicultural partnership between indigenous Māori and British settlers, making it a good location for reflecting on the conference theme of decolonising the field and communication in postcolonial contexts. I invite you to watch this video, introducing our city and the conference theme Whiria te tāngata / Weaving People Together: Communicative projects of decolonising, listening and engaging.

The conference is co-hosted by Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the local tribe, and a consortium of seven New Zealand universities led by the University of Canterbury. We have several activities planned alongside the scholarly work, including planting trees in a regenerating wetland near the city where you can literally get your hands dirty, an urban walk telling of the partnership between the tribe and the city in rebuilding the city centre, media art exhibitions and more.

IAMCR 2024 will be a face-to-face conference, although the conference keynote and plenaries, and some additional audio-visual elements, will be available online for those of you who can’t get to Ōtautahi Christchurch. Be aware it will be winter, although the city’s climate is temperate and July usually brings clear blue skies.

The conference has a strong focus on reducing our environmental impact, including in choosing a venue within walking distance of accommodation, food choice and more. Watch for the eco-angel student helpers who can advise and direct on reducing our impact further. The event will also prioritise accessibility for all.

If you have time, there are a number of low-cost trips you can do after the conference, taking you to ski fields, wineries, whale-watching and beaches, all within a day of the city.

Once again, welcome to IAMCR 2024 in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Donald Matheson
Chair of the local organising committee

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