First, I had this idea that I wanted to see evidence of human compassion and interest in places around the globe where war and conflict have left gaping scars, whether literally (like on the landscape) or less visibly (like generations of birth defects). I wanted to find memorials, altars, flowers, graffiti, etc.
But something else happened instead. When I got to Hiroshima, my computer started freezing up. The images just wouldn't load. I ended up escaping and taking a break. When I came back, I went to Nagasaki to see what I might find there. The pages still wouldn't load, but I started to become very interested in these haunting in-between images. I think they speak to the chaos and disorientation that the people of this city must have felt when the bomb turned their world upside down.
In researching for this project, I looked at images and read articles about the birth defects that stretched out in the wake of these bombings. Truly horrifying. Children born, well, like this.
But you know what is even more horrifying? That we can't just compartmentalize this and say, "Gosh, that was so awful way back then." Because We Are Still Doing This! The US used chemical weapons against Fallujah in 2004 and now their babies are born with two heads, missing limbs, extra limbs, scaly skin, cancer and in one case a boy was born with a single eye in the middle of his face. This is happening right now. Also in Gaza where the US has provided Israel with white phosphorus, which is what was used in Fallujah.
Someone in my class said the other day that the thing that bothers her the most (in life? in the whole world?) is things being dirty. Well, girl, this is filthy. This is unacceptably filthy.
But does it bother you? At all? Or are you just annoyed that I bring it up at all?