Swimming with ideas: what happens to creativity in the wake of a disaster and the waves of pro-social recovery behaviour that follow?

    Trudi Cameron Affiliation
    ; Roy Montgomery Affiliation
    ; Kevin Moore Affiliation
    ; Emma Stewart Affiliation


Creativity that is driven by a need for physical or economic survival, which disasters are likely to inspire, raises the question of whether such creativity fits with conventional theories and perspectives of creativity. In this paper we use the opportunity afforded by the 2010–2013 Christchurch, New Zealand earthquakes to follow and assess the creative practices and responses of a number of groups and individuals. We use in-depth interviews to tease out motivations and read these against a range of theoretical propositions about creativity. In particular, we focus on the construct of “elite panic” and the degree to which this appeared to be evident in the Christchurch earthquakes context. Bureaucratic attempts to control or limit creativity were present but they did not produce a completely blanket dampening effect. Certain individuals and groups seemed to be pre-equipped to navigate or ignore potential blocks to creativity. We argue, using Geir Kaufmann’s novelty-creativity matrix and aspects of Teresa Amabile’s and Michael G. Pratt’s revised componential theory of creativity that a special form of disaster creativity does exist.


Kūrybiškumas, kurio priežastis yra fizinio ar ekonominio išgyvenimo poreikis ir kurį gali inspiruoti nelaimės, iškelia klausimą, ar taip suprantamas kūrybiškumas atitinka jam skirtas konvencines teorijas ir perspektyvas. Šiame straipsnyje atspirties tašku tampa 2010–2013 m. įvykę žemės drebėjimai Kraistčerče (Naujoji Zelandija). Stebime ir vertiname daugelio grupių ir individų kūrybines praktikas ir atsakus. Siekdami išsiaiškinti motyvus ir palyginti juos su daugeliu teorinių teiginių apie kūrybiškumą, naudojame išsamius interviu. Ypač daug dėmesio skiriame „elito panikos“ konceptui ir lygmeniui, ties kuriuo jis iškyla kaip akivaizdus Kraistčerčo žemės drebėjimų kontekste. Biurokratinės pastangos kontroliuoti ar riboti kūrybiškumą nesugebėjo jo visiškai nuslopinti. Tam tikri individai ir grupės, atrodė, buvo pasirengę atitinkama linkme kreipti ar nepaisyti galimų kūrybiškumui iškylančių kliūčių. Remdamiesi Geiro Kaufmanno naujumo ir kūrybiškumo matrica bei Teresos Amabile ir Michaelo G. Pratto pataisyta komponentine kūrybiškumo teorija, tvirtiname, kad yra ypatinga nelaimių sužadinama kūrybiškumo forma.

Reikšminiai žodžiai: Kraistčerčas, kūrybiškumas, nelaimės, žemės drebėjimai, elito panika, atsikūrimas.

Keyword : Christchurch, creativity, disasters, earthquakes, elite panic, resilience

How to Cite
Cameron, T., Montgomery, R., Moore, K., & Stewart, E. (2018). Swimming with ideas: what happens to creativity in the wake of a disaster and the waves of pro-social recovery behaviour that follow?. Creativity Studies, 11(1), 10-23.
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Mar 27, 2018
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