Transpacific Imagination: Nuclear Representation in Australia and Japan
Yasuko Hiraoka Myer Room
Sidney Myer Asia Centre
T: (03) 8344 5143
What does it mean for art to encounter the Post-Fukushima world? How can aesthetic practices tackle the present social and political reality with a view to creating new and alternative mindsets? By posing these questions, various artists and writers both within and beyond Japan have responded to the catastrophic 2011 Fukushima disaster.
This seminar begins with a reflection on nuclear literature written by the Japanese authors Kyoko Hayashi and Makoto Oda. These works offer a platform to discuss wider perspectives on both military and civilian uses of nuclear power, and also open up awareness to a ‘global hibakusha’ that not only includes the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but all casualties (both human and non-human) of the ‘nuclear cycle’ – from uranium mining to weapons testing. This seminar then explores a series of Australian artistic projects addressing the controversies surrounding British nuclear testing in the 1960s and the continued mining of uranium on Indigenous land. Attending to these writings and projects, with links across Australia and Japan, this seminar considers the importance of developing a transpacific imagination in response to the current issues surrounding nuclear energy, survival and sustainability.