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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Family Photos Swept Away By The 3.11 East Japan Tsunami

Faceless survivors with protective masks rummage through container boxes for their family photos in a makeshift shelter, desperately trying to keep memories of their loved ones, because all of their possessions are gone.

Hundreds and hundreds of badly damaged photos that fill the wall of the gallery at Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy are from the area in Japan where entire communities were swept away last year.

The Lost & Found Project is a remarkable undertaking to try to recover photos from debris and return them to the owners.

I noticed one photo on the gallery wall. I was just able to recognise some letters, written at the back. The photo at the front is probably unrecognisable.
It reads.....

"When life was full of fun. It was really fun. 29 years old."

Was it a wedding photo? Holiday? Honeymoon? Party with friends? New year family gathering?
Are they still alive?

One thing is for sure.
It's all gone.

Suddenly, I found myself dashing to the door.
I couldn't take it any more.
I had to leave.

Here is the photo I exhibited last year at Bundoora Homestead as part of Darebin Art Show.
'Requiem For The Victims Of Japan Earthquake 2011'.

I wanted to create an image to express an indescribable sadness and powerlessness I felt at the time.
The overall colour is deep ocean blue, and people trying to run away from water, being swept away by the tsunami, disappearing....
The shaky bright colour in the middle is a symbol of failed nuclear reactors.
But, somehow, the image emanates some kind of hope for the future.....

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