In the hours, days and weeks following a natural disaster, the collective eyes of the world are fixed markedly on the affected area and its people. News channels worldwide provide constant updates, foreign correspondents flock like seagulls to the point of disaster in search of greater understanding and an influx of material aid and physical back up flow. A globalised world mourns the lives of those lost and pray for their loved ones until suddenly…we hear nothing.
The 11th of March, 2011 marks a day in which a tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster rattled the quiet and determined nation of Japan to its core and claimed the lives of over 18,000 people. You already knew this though. What you are unlikely to know is what happened next. What happened when the debris was cleared, the camera crews went home and the local residents instructed to stay indoors to avoid possible nuclear radiation were allowed outside once again and began to pick up the pieces of their shattered existences? Brooklyn-based, Japanese artist Yuki Kokubo has some answers and she wants you to help her share them.
Kasama-Yaki (Made in Kasama) showcases the beginnings of a longer project through which Kokubo hopes to learn more about her own family as well as provide a glimpse into the sobering strength and resilience of the Japanese people. The piece so far is a melancholically beautiful ode to Kokubo’s parents, Katsuji and Shigeko, two Japanese potters who reflect on the 2011 disasters and how they have affected both their own lives and the Japanese identity as a collective. The film is permeated by an aching sense of resignation and sadness-the futility of the human race against the wrath of mother nature is accepted. Somewhere in the middle of all this sadness, there is beauty and a sense of hope that spawns from the joy one finds in making something new. “People who make things pull themselves up by creating”, offers Katsuji, with a business like sense of finality. And that is exactly what she is doing.
To help Kokubo finish and release her film, donate to the Kickstarter campaign here.