|プロジェクトタイトル||Living with Fukushima’s “contaminated” sea: Life, leisure and tourism in the wake of disaster|
|メンバー||Hideki Okumoto (Professor, Fukushima University, Japan）,
Matt Westcott (Award-winning Canadian action sport filmmaker）
The coastal Hamadōri region of Fukushima is located along the Pacific Ocean. The region has a rich maritime heritage and is also home to one of Japan’s oldest surf cultures. Despite the close relationship between Fukushima communities and the sea, official Josen (decontamination) efforts focused primarily on collecting and removing 5 cm of top soils around residential areas. Coastal revitalisation efforts have centred on fishery resource management and recovery, and the construction of 7 to 15-meter concrete seawalls intended to protect communities from potential future tsunami. The community’s historical, cultural, and spiritual connection with the sea is a secondary concern, if considered at all. The construction of seawalls epitomise a technocratic and top-down approach to “reconstruction” and a utilitarian drive for observable solutions and outcomes. This utilitarian approach to responding to disaster effected areas has come under critique by Naomi Klein (2007) who suggests pragmatist recovery approaches are a form of “disaster capitalism” where money is made and circulated, which for philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy (2015) is the true “disaster” of the Fukushima’s recovery efforts. I argue that this utilitarian recovery model denies the invaluable sense, histories and traditional knowledges of Fukushima’s coastal communities. While Kato’s (2017) work has contributed greatly to our understandings of spiritual recovery in post-disaster Fukushima on land, considerations of how Fukushima coastal communities are living with the contaminated sea—spiritually, emotionally, aesthetically, and creatively—are limited (Sakurai et al., 2017; Sato, et al., 2013).
Guiding research questions;
This research will address the following questions and concerns: How does life go on in disaster affected areas? How do coastal leisure communities reengage with post-disaster “contaminated” seascapes? How do people forge new ways of welling and belonging within, amongst and against altered coastlines? What kinds of embodied, sensory and technological assemblages comprise new practices of living with a polluted sea? How does tourism development function in post-disaster polluted seascapes? To engage with such complex questions the study will comprise a multidisciplinary effort to document the sounds, stories, words, and images through film and writing in effort to express what life and leisure is like for those who continue to engage with a “contaminated” sea.
The objective is two-fold:
1) To document how local and visitor surfers deliberate, experience and (re)engage with Fukushima’s altered seascape through leisure; and
2) To actively aid in reconstructing Fukushima’s connection with the sea by expressing the unique surfscape of Fukushima’s coastline through the production of a short Fukushima surf-film.
Methodologically, the study is inspired by Donna Haraway (2016), Anna Tsing (2015), Rosalyn Diprose (2011), and the eco-humanities more generally (Gibson, Rose, & Fincher, 2015) who argue the current crises facing the world today calls for new ways of thinking and producing knowledge. As Haraway (2016, p. 10) writes, in such urgent times “many of us are tempted to address the trouble in terms of making an imagined future safe, of stopping something from happening that looms in the future” (Haraway, 2016, p. 1). Picture the 15-meter seawall here. Instead of constructing walls, Gibson, Rose and Fincher (2015) state their “collective inclination has been to go on in an experimental and exploratory mode, in which we refuse to foreclose on options or to jump too quickly to ‘solutions.’” Learning how to mourn, feel and receive loss, learning how to live with an immanently “contaminated” earth and with one another, may be more conducive to the kind of thought and action that would provide the means to building more liveable futures (Haraway, 2016). It becomes increasingly necessary to think through “more modest possibilities of partial recuperation and getting on together” (Haraway, 2016, p.10). Picking up on this philosophical thread, this study explores the newly assembled engagements with the sea already underway through the situated leisure practice of surfing along Fukushima’s “contaminated” coastline.To give texture to the experience of living with a “contaminated” sea ethnographic fieldwork will draw on in-depth interviews and participant observation with Fukushima surfers as well as recording the sounds and images at Fukushima’s surf destinations. Through the use of creative cinematography the visual narrative of the film aims to express the ongoing sense of living with the sea that is at times lost in the wave of political and scientific documentary representations of Fukushima’s seascape. This relationship provides the undercurrents that keep life moving forward in the wake of disaster.