Fukushima, the Greenbelt Festival and performance art

At this years Greenbelt Festival I’m privileged to have been asked to be involved with a performance piece by Kaya Hanasaki, a performance artist who is a resident of Fukushima, Japan. She’s been over in the UK as a part of a respite programme by another artist, Kaori Homma. The idea is to get artists to spend some time away from Fukushima for so respite from both the stress and the very real physical danger.

It’s been a year and a half since the nuclear accident at Fukushima occurred, and now that the incident has to some extent faded from the media spotlight the people who live there have now somehow got to get on with their lives.

It turns out that the situation is not good at all, and that they’re still not sure what exactly to do with the power stations.

The group of artists based around Project Fukushima have started to hold a festival that “will let the entire world know about Fukushima as it is now, and as it will be in the future. We are determined to turn Fukushima into a positive word.” It’s well worth digging into their website and finding out about what’s going on over there, both within the festival and in Fukushima at large, as I suspect that the implications of Japan’s attempts to find a future that somehow deals with the implications of nuclear fuel and a strong desire to do without it are worked out, will have an influence upon all of us.

I’ve seen some video footage of Kaya’s performance, and it is at once very moving, emotional and loaded with imagery and symbolism. It’s certain to be a Greenbelt highlight, and I’m involved in trying to live stream the performance back to Japan. This could be tricky as the event is on Saturday at 2pm, so getting anything to stream smoothly when everyone is hammering the wifi will be a bit of a task, but we’ll see how we get on.

See you in the Hub on Saturday 25th August at 2pm.

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