ALARA

Video Installation, HD, Single Channel, 13:02 min, 2019

 A man applying for refugee status in Japan was told falsely that "If you work in the decontamination effort, your visa will be extended" following the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. ALARA was created based on this incident.

  The definition of the “1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees” refers to the protection of persons from political or other forms of persecution. A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. Despite the above, Hossein Monie whose situation is reported in this work, has been denied an asylum application for refugee status in Japan since 2013. While the number of applications in Japan has increased more than ten times, from 1,599 in 2008 to 19,628 today, the number of approvals has been decreasing year by year, with only 20 approved last year. In addition, foreigners are detained at the Tokyo Immigration Bureau under conditions which deprive them of human dignity because there are no legal restrictions on the terms of their detention. Japan's national refugee policy is the most restrictive in the world, which places refugees in an ambiguous space of exclusion and inclusion, much like decontamination soil.
 After nuclear energy was discovered by Otto Hahn in Germany and confirmed and demonstrated as a fission reaction by Lise Meitner, the world's first atomic bomb was manufactured by the Manhattan Project in the United States in 1945. In early August of that year, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. After that, nuclear power was incorporated into the capital. In other words, nuclear power was first used for military purposes, and the conversion of weapons of mass destruction into civilian use. Therefore, there has always been the possibility of catastrophic accidents.
 Furthermore, the Japanese nuclear power plant system was a project led by former Prime Minister Nakasone, Japan's leading right-wing leader, as a neoliberal policy emphasizing cost and benefit. As an adherent of neoliberalism, he sought to continuously increase the potential of nuclear armament. The Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was destroyed by a natural disaster in 2011, covers an area of 14,000 square kilometers. The 1 million people living in this area were subjected to an annual exposure of 20 millisieverts, which is 20 times higher than before the accident. In addition, the working environment has deteriorated even more than before the accident.  The gap between regular employees and subcontractors has widened. In the name of the global economy, it has become labor imposed on migrants and refugees.

 Here we can observe the ”Educative and formative role of the State. Its aim is always that of creating new and higher types of civilisation; of adapting the “civilisation” and the morality of the broadest popular masses to the necessities of the continuous development of the economic apparatus of production; hence of evolving even physically new types of humanity.”  Mr. Monie, who was in charge of the decontamination work is “not fixed in identity but hybrid and modulating.  As the walls that defined and isolated the effects of the modern institutions progressively break down, subjectivities tend to be produced simultaneously by numerous institutions in different combinations and doses.”
 The constellation of two normalized states of exception, "Nuclear Accidents and Refugees," is highlighted by a pair of oral histories, text, fictional animation and realistic moving images.

CREDITS

 

Direction and Editing: 
Kounosuke Kawakami

3DCG Assistant:  Takumi Yamamoto

Music: Dark Black Core

Voiceover :
 Chris Walton

Interviewee: 
Hossain Monire

Voice Over Text: Antonio Gramsci "Prison Notebooks" 1929 - 1935
Antonio Negri & Michael Hardt,  “Empire”  2000
Ministry of the Environment “Decontamination Guidelines”  2013

Special Thanx: Shuya Masuda, Kozo Shimizu

Supported by: Terumo Foundation for Life Science and Arts

 © 2019 by Kounosuke Kawakami