A CRY FOR FUKUSHIMA Acrylic 24″ x 24″
by Mary Lou Dauray
I have asked myself what can I do, as an artist, about the worst industrial calamity in human history * —the triple meltdown of theFukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants. I am overwhelmed by the unprecedented scope of this disaster. I become paralyzed by the information that is now coming forth—five years after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami-caused destruction. When I decided about 15 years ago to begin making art about events in the world that concerned me, I did created work on a variety of topics. Eventually I started painting about global warming and climate change. Then last fall I decided to do art about nuclear energy because I do not believe nuclear power should be considered a reliable source of alternative energy. How to begin? It took a while, but I felt that the disaster at Fukushima would be my entry into the complicated world of nuclear energy. I started with a drawing of the black plastic bags that are filled with radioactive waste from the Fukushima Daiichi area. Apparently there are now 30 millions of these one ton bags scattered all over the prefecture in an unsuccessful effort to make the land livable again. It was determined that by cleaning out the contamination the soilwould be free from radioactivity. However, when it rains or snows, the radioactivity returns. My picture, “The Cry at Fukushima”, evolved through many days and numerous layers of paint. At one point, a tragic face, encapsulated in the storage bag, appeared. It seemed appropriate and I kept it because approximately 160,000 people have been displaced from their homes and the disruption has caused suicides, loss of communities, and intense despair. In addition, a governmental cover-up has lead to a lack of information as to exactly what is happening. There has not been an answer yet as to how to even find the core that melted down in one of the plants. A “Secrets” law has been enacted that forbids journalists to write about the situation. Apparently thyroid cancers are beginning to appear at a higher rate than average among children. Tons of radioactive waters pour into the Pacific Ocean daily. No one knows exactly what to do and there does not seem to be an end in sight. The world has never experienced any situation like this.
*A quote by Arnie Gundersen, Board of Directors,Fairewinds Organization. Gundersen has had more than 40 years of nuclear power engineering experience and he is currently in Japan doing podcasts about the situation. www.fairewinds.org