Photo slide show: The ashes haven’t stopped falling

Excerpt from ABC Open online article by  Jessie Boylan

The ashes haven’t stopped falling: Marshall Islands

March 1st marked the 60th anniversary of the US Castle Bravo thermonuclear explosion in the Marshall Islands, which contaminated the Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utrik atolls. The bomb was fifteen megatons, making it the largest nuclear bomb the United States had ever tested and 1000 times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The local Marshallese, were evacuated to other atolls and have been unable to return home since. Many inhabitants have suffered ongoing illnesses as a result of radioactive fallout and many remember a white powder falling from the sky, which they thought was soap or shampoo, rubbing it into their hair and bodies.

I travelled to Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, for Nuclear Victims Remembrance Day and for a workshop that brought together third-generation nuclear bomb and nuclear test survivors from Kazakhstan, Japan and the Marshall Islands. This workshop, called ‘Global Hibakusha’, Japanese for nuclear survivor, was part of an Australia Council-funded project called Nuclear Futures. The aim was to teach young people digital media skills so the stories of their grandparents and their communities could live on.

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