Peace in Hiroshima- Aug 4th

For two weeks I have the privilege of visiting communities, atomic-related sites, peace activists and artists in Japan, to deepen my understanding of Japan’s Hibakusha* experience and contemporary peace building activities.



Lessons and stories from Japan are of significant value for our work in Australia, particularly those involving arts, cultural development and collaboration…. and there are so many terrific examples.

Today in Hiroshima I met with the generous and inspiring folks from Project Now!
Project NOW! is a collective of artists and designers from Hiroshima, Nagasaki and elsewhere who create art to heighten public awareness of the need to abolish nuclear weapons.

Yesterday, on August 3rd, Project NOW! organised a ‘Look Up’ art action where over 100 participants joined together on AIOI Bridge (the Hiroshima target of the WW2 A-bomb) to look skyward for 10 minutes in shared silence- as a public act of reflection, art, and activism. Among their previous initiatives is a beautiful and thought-provoking publication of international artworks imagining a nuclear-weapon-free future.

Project NOW! Cover, 2010 publication

Project NOW! Cover, 2010 publication

Down on the street, local school students explored their own questions about peace, interviewing people passing by on the question: ‘what have you done for peace?’. In exchange they handed out symbolic paper cranes.

These are two of the many tangible signs today that the city’s attention is firmly on the pending anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (August 6th),  and that conversation and action for co-creating peace now and for the future are flowing.

*Hibakusha 被爆者 is the Japanese word meaning persons exposed to or affected by radiation from atomic bombs.

Gift from students asking: 'what have you done for peace?'

Gift from students asking: ‘what have you done for peace?’