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IAMCR 2024 Conference

2024 Conference

International Association for Media and Communication Research

Ōtautahi Christchurch is set to host one of the world’s biggest communication conferences, putting Indigenous knowledge at the centre of communication research.

The prestigious international conference brings 1,300 international delegates from over 61 different countries together, with some of them being top in the field.

Details

When: 30 June – 4 July 2024
Venue: Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre
Where: Ōtautahi Christchurch, New Zealand
Delegates: 1,400
PCO: Conference Innovators

Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC) is hosting the conference in collaboration with local iwi, Ngāi Tūāhuriri, and senior academics from seven New Zealand universities.

UC Professor Donald Matheson, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, says IAMCR 2024 puts Ōtautahi Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand on the map and will lead to further research projects and other valuable connections.

Diverse collaboration

A diverse range of collaborators have worked together from identification, bidding, securing the win, to planning and implementation.

“It takes the sum of all doing their parts well to get the results like IAMCR,” Professor Matheson says.

“The theme of the conference lends itself perfectly to this, ‘Whiria te tāngata - Weaving people together’, the strength that comes through common purpose.”

Aotearoa New Zealand's unique bicultural history and position make it an ideal location for this conference. It is also a land of immigrants spanning from the first waka 1000 years ago to recent Pacific and Asian immigration. This history underpins strong connections across the Pacific and a shared legacy of addressing colonial impacts on health, environment and security.

In addition to that, UC’s position of being the only tertiary institution in Aotearoa to have a formal Te Tiriti partnership with local iwi Ngāi Tūāhuriri also contributed to the successful bid.

Conference Innovators is managing the project locally using multiple venues and hotels and the conference will deliver legacy impacts for the city – environmental, diversity and inclusivity.

Professor Matheson says the economic and legacy impacts of the event can’t be underestimated. “Christchurch will feel the positive effects of hosting these international guests not only during the event, but for years after.”

Central Christchurch venues hosting sessions as part of the conference include Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre, Crowne Plaza Christchurch, Distinction Christchurch Hotel, Novotel Christchurch Cathedral Square, and Tūranga Christchurch Library, with social events happening across central city hospitality spaces such as Riverside Markets.

Whiria te tāngata | Weaving people together

Media and communication research explores the influence and impact of the media and new information technology. It shows how communication and media work in a broader social context.

The theme of IAMCR 2024 in is Whiria te tangata | Weave the people together: Communicative projects of decolonising, engaging, and listening - the strength that comes through common purpose. It invites reflection on the terms and models appropriate to describe contemporary communication, including the political and moral goals embedded in them.

It takes the sum of all doing their parts well to get the results like IAMCR,” 

Professor Matheson

Partnership in knowledge-making

Keynote speakers include Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Distinguished Professor at Whare Wānanga o Awanuiarangi), who is a global authority on indigenous methods in the social sciences, and Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University), one of New Zealand’s leading Pacific scholars, will also be a key speaker. She is well-known as a literary star, as well as a critic and researcher.

Connecting young Pacific researchers with school students will be a focus of the conference, supported by UNESCO’s New Zealand National Commission.

The event is in partnership with Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the University of Canterbury’s Treaty partner who hold manawhenua (land management rights) in the city.

“A major scholarly topic in our field is decolonising communication and Ōtautahi Christchurch is a perfect place to do that. It makes our academic commitment to partnership in knowledge-making real,” Professor Matheson says.

“Te Pae, with its ara (archway) and narrative of connecting with place, adds to that, as will all the other activities we’ll invite participants to do, including planting trees with manawhenua, at Tūhaitara Coastal Park, on the day before the conference and a walk through the city centre guided by a kaumatua.”

Early-career focused conference

IAMCR 2024 is set to be a conference of emerging scholars, with about 40 percent of participants still doing their research degrees. This is certain to add energy and ensure there are a lot of new ideas discussed.

IAMCR is offering awards and grants for participating members including 25 travel grants, awards for excellent papers dealing with climate change communication, urban communication, or rural communication services.

Communication and policy professionals have been invited to come along for a day or two of the conference to connect with research.

“We’re all working through many of the same issues, including the pace of technological change, questions of trust in communicators, the way communication reinforces inequality between rich and poor, the role that communication can play in global challenges such as climate justice, public health and safeguarding the fragile structures of democracy,” Professor Matheson says.

Te Pae, with its ara (archway) and narrative of connecting with place, adds to that, as will all the other activities we’ll invite participants to do, including planting trees with manawhenua, at Tūhaitara Coastal Park, on the day before the conference and a walk through the city centre guided by a kaumatua.”

Professor Matheson

Reducing environmental impact

The conference has a strong focus on reducing its environmental impact and will also prioritise accessibility for all.

Planned activities include planting trees in a regenerating wetland, an urban walk telling of the partnership between the tribe and the city in rebuilding the city centre, media art exhibitions and more.

“The venue is in the centre of town, so most participants will be able to walk to and from their accommodation. Te Pae also has a surprisingly small environmental footprint itself. We’ll have volunteer 'eco-angels’ walking the floor, advising people on little steps they can take and handing out tickets to the heritage (electric) tram as spot awards,” Professor Matheson says.

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