Exclusion zone 2012

I have added photos from Minamisoma, which used to be the former exclusion zone, all taken during our filming in May 2012. This zone of alienation had just reopened in April 2012. Minamisoma lies 10 kilometers north of the former Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and has been destroyed by the tsunami and the nuclear disaster.

Still now, these images awaken memories from a very special day. A mixture of fascination, anger, sadness, empathy and emptiness. Leftovers from the tsunami were still spread around and people were examining and cleaning up the damage.

It was surprising and enlightening to see, that Fukushima used to be a paradise: green mountains, rice fields and friendly people. Most inhabitants used to be working in agriculture, which means that they have a special connection to their fertile land and ground. Many live now in container camps, receiving a monthly payment from Tepco. Nothing remains to do. As one inhabitant described: “One stays not very open minded living in such a place”.

I wish to thank Morimori for this personal journey, introducing us to his family.