Guggenheim Global Art Initiative — Q&A with the Otolith Group discussing their film ‘The Radiant’ which explores the aftermath of 3/11, published Oct. 29, 2014 (emphasis added):
- Anjalika Sagar (at 2:00 in): Things have got much worse — and at the same time that things have got much worse, you have an accelerated form of secrecy relating to the level of the contamination in food products, in the sea… We were interested in… the politics of how disposable this population has become… Where the threat of the earthquakes could possibly contaminate the whole of Japan, which has happened…
- Kodwo Eshun: We made a distinction between the nature of an accident and the nature of a catastrophe… The idea is that an accident is located in time and space… the earthquake and tsunami are a terrible tragic instance, but they are accidents. The catastrophe is potentially unlimited in time and space… The [meltdowns are] a catastrophe that opened up a fissure in time and space both in the past and in the present and in the future. So that what seems to be past is no longer past, but becomes present in a new way. And similarly what hasn’t happened yet is menaced by this moment… The horror of inhabiting radiation is that it menaces the future in the present. And it makes the future hostile in the present. So that mothers cannot be certain the babies they will have will not mutants. It makes the question of mutation — which is a core fantasy of science fiction, for comics, for superheroes — take on a real world effect… Very few people trusted the Japanese government anymore…. What we heard… was this notion of Japan as a laboratory, the notion of the citizens of Japan as guinea pigs. The sense that the Japanese government are carrying out an experiment in which they are calculating the levels at which people will revolt, and the levels at which people will accept their fate.
Katsunobu Sakurai, Mayor of Minamisoma, Fukushima: “To put it simply, it destroyed our life… The region was lost, then the countryside was lost… In our history, it’s only for a moment that we’ve had nuclear power — 40 years. But it can destroy history itself.” >> Watch here
Katsutaka Idogawa, Mayor of Futaba, Fukushima during 3/11: “I’m really ashamed for my country, but I have to speak the truth for the sake of keeping our planet clean in the future… The same thing happened with Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The authorities lied to everyone. They said it was safe. They hid the truth. That’s the situation we are living in. It’s not just Fukushima. Japan has a lot of dark history, what’s happening now is sort of a sacrifice to the past.” >> Watch here
Professor Norma Field, University of Chicago: “One can imagine a future beyond [the earthquake and tsunami]. It is very hard to imagine a future beyond the nuclear disaster of Fukushima. It is so uncontrollable — uncontainable — and that is why it gets left out of all the official and entertainment discourses. You have to be impassioned about it, and then you find a while lot. Especially on the internet.” >> Watch here