Thursday, 18 August 2011

Fukushima children's art project

9 year old Fukushima child's anger and sadness at Fukushima Daiichi

I'm sorry I haven't been able to post anything for quite some time. I have given most of my spare time to my new project Strong Children, and our house has just been flooded out by the Tadami river for goodness sake! Life was obviously getting too simple here in Fukushima. 

Strong Children consists of portraits of Japanese children and young people living with the ongoing consequences of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear accident, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11th 2011. Please take a look. The images are designed and made by the children, with words too if they wish. I add their portrait according to their instructions - they choose the pose, facial expression, colour and feeling. The aim is to enable them to share their important experiences and thoughts with the world at this crucial time. It is a collaboration, but they are the boss.

In my view children need an appropriate setting that gives them permission and safety to express a whole range of emotions and thoughts. That includes fear, sadness, grief and anger sometimes, as well as happiness and the more socially acceptable cute and joyful aspects of childhood. 

I also want to create a channel for them to reach the world and get feedback, and to affect the policies that shape and limit their living conditions, health and happiness. This completes a positive circle they can feel proud of and empowered by. Finally, no record of important historical events, or thinking about energy choices or ethics for that matter, can be complete without including children - even if it is just seeing the marks they make, and looking into their eyes as they gaze from a portrait.

If you would like to support or help exhibit, publish or disseminate the project, please contact me