Remembering Fukushima: Art and Conversation at the Cathedral
Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave.
212-316-7540 Price: Free
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On March 11, 2017, Remembering Fukushima: Art and Conversation at the Cathedral will commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan. Conceived by the Cathedral’s artist-in-residence, Eiko Otake, this four-hour program will bring together scholars, specialists, and artists of many disciplines to create an occasion that aspires to be both informative and affecting. Offered as a free admission event, everyone is welcome to join, reflect and learn.
On March 11, 2011, the biggest earthquake in Japanese history hit Northeast Japan and shut down the sustained fission reactions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The highest tsunami ever recorded in Japan soon followed, disabling the plant’s emergency generators. Insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns and explosions, releasing vast quantities of radioactive material. Rated at the maximum of Level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the Fukushima meltdowns were the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The destroyed plants continue to contaminate the surrounding area and sea, while Japanese companies are selling nuclear technology to India. To remember Fukushima means to realize how nuclear technology cannot be trusted with our lives and the environment.
Eiko Otake has been teaching college courses on the atomic bombings and nuclear power for the last ten years. Her solo project, A Body in Places, stated in 2014 with her visit to irradiated Fukushima with photographer and historian William Johnston. Their collaborative photo exhibition, A Body in Fukushima, has been since shown in many cities both in the U.S. and abroad. In New York last year, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns, Eiko and Johnston collaborated with Danspace Project to present these photos as a 24-hour exhibition, each hour marked with performances by guest artists.
Now at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Eiko will again direct an anniversary event, working together with concerned scholars and artists.
The event will also coincide with the closing of The Christa Project, which features 21 contemporary artists and includes Eiko and Johnston’s photos from their most recent trip to Fukushima. On March 11th, Eiko and Johnston’s photo exhibition will be expanded to mark the occasion. Speakers, musicians, and artists will work together to create an experience that will help participants know and remember Fukushima, and its significance in our lives today.
Participants confirmed to date: