Safecast : <<We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of the Safecast iOS app available in the App Store now. Last year we reached out to Nick Dolezal, creator of the most amazing GeigerBot, with some questions and ideas about his app. It didn’t take long for us to realize he would be a fantastic addition to the Safecast team and he agreed. We started brainstorming on what a Safecast iOS app might look like and what it might offer. The results of those continued discussions are live now. We’re most excited about the “virtual geiger counter” aspect to this app – using the GPS on your iPhone or iPad you can quickly see readings that have been taken around you. We’ve got the full Safecast dataset on board, as well as a handful of other publicly available radiation measurement data sets which gives a comprehensive exposure map for the US and Japan, with other areas being filled in as we collect those readings. There’s also the ability to connect your own geiger counter and take readings which can be submitted back to the Safecast Database.
We feel like this will be an incredibly useful application for just about anyone to have, and hope to keep improving it’s functionality as well grow. Enjoy! >>
福島の女たち from Paul Johannessen on Vimeo (Women of Fukushima) : Six Japanese women offer brutally honest views on the state of the clean-up, the cover-ups and untruths since the nuclear accident in Fukushima, and how it has affected their lives, homes and families.
Over a year since three reactors went into meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, a broad, disparate anti-nuclear movement is growing in Japan. Nowhere is that more apparent, perhaps, than in Fukushima prefecture, where a group of local women boldly protest the deafening silence of the Japanese government over the worst nuclear accident of this century. Largely ignored by their own media, these brave women brush aside their cultural shyness and share their brutally honest views on the state of the cleanup, the cover-ups, the untruths and the stagnant political climate in today’s Japan. Supported with rare footage from inside the exclusion zone, as well as from abandoned neighboring towns, the Women of Fukushima (“Fukushima no Onnatachi”) offers startlingly candid insights, in the women’s own voices, about what has become of their lives, homes, and families in the aftermath of 3/11.
After the evacuation of a 20 km radius zone around the Daiichi Nuclear plant, the towns, fields and road have been abandonned to nature. The entry was limited for a few hours at a time. Due to radiations, the zone has been left with little or no human activity. Despite police patrols, looting and burglaries have occured.
On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Tohoku region, in north-eastern Honshu, the main island of Japan. The tremor triggered a tsunami that measured more than 40 meters in height in places. More than 15,000 people have been confirmed dead, with another 3,000 people missing (feared dead) and 6,000 people injured. On the same day, the installation of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, situated 230km north of Tokyo, was severely damaged by the earthquake and the following tsunami, losing the power supply and subsequently the control of the cooling systems. As a consequence, nuclear meltdown occurred in three of the reactors. Tens of thousands had to flee their homes as radiation leaked into the atmosphere, sea and food chains. One year on from the disaster, more than 330,000 people are still displaced from home after having lost their houses by the earthquake and tsunami, and as radiation fears increase from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.
The DisasterEvacuation and Risk Perception in Democracies (DEVAST) project was designed to analyse the chain of impacts, from the immediate response to the long-lasting impacts induced by the above Great East Japan Earthquake and the following Fukushima nuclear accident, focusing particularly on the displacement of population.
Following an analysis of the disaster response, the project looks closely at the evolution of the perception of risks in the Japanese society as a whole, and ultimately on other liberal democracies such as France. A comparative analysis with France on the issue of disaster management and perception of risks will be conducted in order to understand how democracies deal disasters.
The project is one of the few looking at the social impacts of the disaster: it brings together Japanese and French researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TITech), Waseda University and IDDRI – Sciences Po. It is jointly funded by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) through its International Collaborative Research/Survey Programme (J-RAPID) and the French National Research Agency (ANR) through its ‘Flash-Japon’ programme.
The project is designed around the following three themes:
Disaster Evacuation and its Chain of Impacts
The project first analyses disaster responses in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, and the accident of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, focusing on the process of evacuation. DEVAST will seek to understand how the evacuation was organised, when and which information was disseminated among the population, what affected the decisions of evacuees to accept such displacements, examine the current situation of evacuees and assess the likelihood of their return, hence measuring the impact of such massive displacement in terms of social construction. Then it explores to identify the chain of impacts induced by these events through a domino effect that comprises of medium to long-term social, economic and political impacts on the Japanese society. A special attention will be paid to the social and cultural context of the Japanese society and how that has affected the chain of impacts.
Perception of Risks
The disaster has ramifications well beyond Tohoku region: indeed, it not only set off a crisis in Japanese society at large but also incited a heated debate on the issues such as disaster preparedness, energy strategy and nuclear safety beyond its borders. Despite Japan’s extensive experience in dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis, the disaster raised serious questions about the government’s preparations for and handling of the disaster. The project thus examines the shift in the perception of risks in the Japanese society and its implications in other democracies, especially France.
How Democracies Deal with Disasters
Thirdly, the project brings together the above two themes in a comparative perspective with France, seeking to understand how democracies deal with disasters and to draw lessons. Though developed countries are often supposed to have good capacities to cope with disasters, these recent examples show that they are actually often ill-equipped to do so. Without pointing fingers, the project will seek to draw lessons from the Tohoku Earthquake for the management of extreme natural disasters worldwide, with a special focus in France.
The project is implemented mainly by the collection of primary data through an extensive field research and the analysis of secondary data such as media reports, government documents, opinion surveys, and related articles. The field research will be the key component of the project, and will collect empirical evidence through interviews with the displaced population, local authorities, emergency workers and the government officials in concern. The data collected from the fieldwork will be made available to the public and the academic community through this website. The analysis of secondary data will be conducted throughout the project implementation to complement this process. It includes the analysis of evacuation plans, opinion polls, media coverage, and related scientific articles.
This website is an essential part of our dissemination effort to communicate the project results and progress to a larger audience and make the primary data widely available for the research community.
Disaster Evacuation and Risk Perception in Democracies (DEVAST) - Part 1 77.11 KB
南相馬市メルトダウンから１年後 – One year after the March 11, 2011 disaster, Ian travels back to the radiation zone to the city of Minamisoma in Fukushima Prefecture to find out what conditions in the town are like now.
In Part 3, Ian meets with two local businessmen; one who has made the decision to evacuate his children and the other who has made the difficult decision to keep his children with him. Finally, Ian goes back to the checkpoint at the exclusion area and then to the elementary school where the children are attending classes in the radiation zone.
Born in America, Ian Thomas Ash earned an MA in Film and Television Production at the University of Bristol, UK, in 2005. His first feature documentary, ‘the ballad of vicki and jake’ (84 min/ UK/ 2006), received the Prix du Canton Vaud prize at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland. At the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival, Ian’s film ‘In the Grey Zone’ (89 min/ Japan/ 2012) won the “Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary”, and at the same festival Ian was presented with the “Filmmaker of the Future Award”. Ian’s latest film, ‘A2-B-C’ (71 min/ Japan/ 2013), recently received the “Nippon Visions Award” (best film by new-coming Japan-based director) at the 2013 Nippon Connection Film Festival. Ian has lived in Japan for 10 years and currently lives in Tokyo.
Ian Thomas Ash – Awards :
Nippon Visions Award (best film by new-coming Japan-based director)
at the 2013 Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival in Frankfurt, Germany, for ‘A2-B-C’ (2013, Japan)
Audience Choice Award First Prize for Best Documentary
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival for “In the Grey Zone” (2012, Japan).
Filmmaker of the Future Award
at the 2012 Rhode Island International Film Festival.
Prix de Canton Vaud (best first film)
at the 2006 Visions du Reél International Documentary Film Festival in Nyon, Switzerland, for “the ballad of vicki and jake” (2006, UK).
We are all Radioactive : The residents of Motoyoshi reveal their secret fears about radiation, and global experts — who don’t always agree with each other — attempts to explain the effects of radiation on human health. Visit them online: http://www.weareallradioactive.com
We Are All Radioactive is an episodic documentary film created by San Francisco-based journalist Lisa Katayama and TEDTalks creator Jason Wishnow. It tells the story of a community of young surfers who are helping to rebuild a small coastal town destroyed by the tsunami in Japan in March 2011. Motoyoshi was a secret surf spot for ocean enthusiasts from Sendai. When the tsunami swept away the people and buildings there, a team of young surfers drove out to the coast, pitched tents on unaffected patches of land, and started helping generations of fisherman become entrepreneurs so they could spearhead their own reconstruction projects and develop new business ideas. Seven short themed chapters make up Season 1. Half the footage is shot by our team, and the other half is shot by the locals themselves. The first half of the series was entirely crowdfunded. All the episodes are subtitled in Japanese and English. Join the conversation on our Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/weareallradioactive
About the project
A year after the earthquake-tsunami-nuclear explosion trifecta hit northeastern Japan last March, many small towns along the northeast coast of Japan are still struggling with the same unanswered questions. Is our food safe? Is our water safe? Can I sell my fish and vegetables at the market? Will our children die prematurely of cancer? Can we ever trust the government again?
In the summer of 2011, a few months after the quake, the film crew befriended a group of surfers based in Motoyoshi — a small coastal town 100 miles north of Fukushima. Living in tents pitched on one of the only unaffected patches of land in town, these surfer-turned-activists are rallying to get a multi-generational community of fishermen and farmers back on their feet.
In Japan, they shot interviews with locals, anti-nuclear activists, and global experts on radiation. They also gave waterproof video cameras to the residents of Motoyoshi, so they can film their experience through their own lens while we’re not there. The result is a series of beautiful and informative vignettes that get more up close and intimate than an ordinary film crew could ever get.
We Are All Radioactive combines technology, entertainment, and solid investigative journalism to provide answers to fundamental questions about radiation and the complexities of disaster response on both a political and sociological level.
The footage also touches on the work of Architecture for Humanity, Greenpeace, Surfrider Foundation, and Safecast — all major global non-profits dedicated to helping Japan respectively with post-earthquake reconstruction, human and environmental rights, water safety, and radiation monitoring.
How it works
We Are All Radioactive is an innovative experiment in online filmmaking that integrates storytelling, fundraising, and awareness-raising.
The film is designed to air as 3-4 minute episodes for the web. Each episode will either highlight the personal experience of a key character in the community or distill a theme that reflects the struggle to rebuild the region. Even though they’re rolling it out online first, they’re using a professional film crew — sound designers, award-winning editors — and have been looking to distribute it on TV and at film festivals. We did also hope to one day do a feature version based on the episodes.
Fundraising is a key component of the project — episodes will only air as they get funded. Each episode costs us about $3500 to produce.
As they did roll out new episodes, they introduced new features that let people navigate on the website to do things like: learn more about the characters and themes; log radiation readings on a fun interactive map, putting the situation in Japan in perspective to natural background radiation around the world; and connect directly with nuclear experts via a curated Q&A platform.
Jason Wishnow is the filmmaker behind TEDTalks, the award winning video series watched nearly one billion times. Wishnow works at the intersection of film and emerging technologies and has been called an “online-video virtuoso” (New York Times, 2009), the “enfant terrible of digital film” (The Guardian, 2000), and one of the ten most influential digital filmmakers of 1999 (RES Magazine).
Lisa is a journalist who writes about Japanese culture for Wired, Boing Boing, The New York Times Magazine, and NPR. She’s spoken publicly about Japanese culture at major conferences in Japan, Singapore, and the US. She’s best known online for the award-nominated blog TokyoMango and for founding the design thinking boot camp The Tofu Project.
Yuko is a bilingual Japanese/English editor and cinematographer. In the past year, she has worked on two documentaries, Mrs. Judo and The Power of Two, which was showcased at DocFest and won the audience award at the San Diego Asian Film Festival in 2011. Originally from Nagoya, she’s an experienced diver who aspires to be Japan’s greatest female ocean explorer.
Alex is the founder of BAFTA award-winning boutique editing company Axworks. As well as directing, producing, and editing human rights and environmental projects through Axworks, Alex has carried on his freelance work, cutting a variety of documentaries and features with creative agencies and clients including TED, Amnesty International, and the BBC.
The 10-member commission is one of several panels investigating the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The report follows a six-month investigation involving more than 900 hours of hearings and interviews with more than 1,100 people. The commission’s chairman, Kiyoshi Kurokawa, a professor emeritus at Tokyo University, said in a scathing introduction that cultural traits had caused the disaster.