Sunday, January 15, 2012

No Nukes Art

On January 14-15 2012, the Global Conference for a Nuclear Power Free World will be held in Yokohama, Japan. Participants from Japan and all over the world will gather to consider the issues surrounding nuclear power and discuss steps that can be taken towards a nuclear power free world.

Come and be a part of this conference.

A good place to start exploring the mindset of people in Japan that are thinking about how to use art and graphics to get rid of nuclear weapons and nuclear power:

It began with the Nuclear Power Day poster contest held by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry from 1994 to 2011. The contest collected posters primarily from elementary and junior high school students across the country as a way of furthering the understanding of nuclear power and radiation.

There were mounting calls on Twitter to hold a No Nukes poster exhibition to counter this contest and just as members of Citizen Media REALISER were getting the site ready, the Great East Japan Earthquake hit. So they quickly got the site up and running and were flooded with entries the minute they started calling for posters on April 30, 2011. There were over 1,200 submissions.

It spread to Aichi, Gifu, Nagano and Kagawa, and then To Berlin, Leipzig, Barcelona and San Francisco...

About No Nukes Art:

Japan is currently facing an unprecedented crisis. Even now, some monthes after the earthquake, the situation at the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains critical. Unsurprisingly there is pollution within a 30km radius, where orders have been issued to evacuate or take shelter indoors, but for a while radioactive substances were also detected in tap water in Tokyo, over 200km away, with the Tokyo government distributing mineral water for infants. Further, TEPCO has detected low-level radiation in seawater, arousing fears in neighbouring countries.

Japan’s leading minds have said that “the design was capable of withstanding the biggest earthquake imaginable” and “the chance of an accident was close to zero”. However, when an earthquake and tsunami exceeding that imagination occurred, the accident that was supposed to be close to zero became reality.

This reality reminds us of the biblical story of the tower of Babel. The tower of Babel symbolizes human’s overconfidence in their abilities. We should consider nuclear power as being beyond our control.

We wholeheartedly support those workers, self-defense force personnel and firefighters who are currently in the contaminated region and doing their utmost to bring the situation under control, and hope their efforts pay off. However, at the same time we think that the energy systems that will be reconstructed must be totally innovative and this shift to new energy systems will not stop with Japan, but spread throughout the world.

The advertising power of electricity companies is strong, somehow forcing us, the people, to believe that our lives are dependent on nuclear power, which accounts for a third of Japan’s electricity. However, as can be seen from the frequency of earthquakes, Japan has many hot springs and also gets a lot of sunshine. It has a lot of forest, is rich in biomass and there is an abundance of untapped resources.

At present, electricity companies in Japan have put a halt to their advertising (how about in your country?). We think now is the perfect opportunity to tell people that a society powered by natural energy is indeed possible.

So we are holding a post-nuclear poster competition to spread the word. There are three poster themes:

1. The depiction of the possibility of natural energy
2. A system that enables a choice of electricity
(Consumers do not have the freedom to choose as there is a monopoly on electricity in each region of Japan)
3. Any other appeal for a Post-Nukes society

In Japan, protests calling for a stop to nuclear power have started to spread. They could potentially become the biggest groundswell since the student movement of the sixties. We hope to see posters inspired by these protests.

It would also be great if some of these posters showed not just denuclearization, but also support for those working to rebuild their lives. We strongly believe that we can create a new world if people across the globe join together in this push for natural energy.

NO NUKES POSTERS project team

This project is managed by the member of Energy-Shift Team of Citizen Media RÉALISER.
Web site administrators : Ayako Ezaki and Kan Yamamoto

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