November 22nd, 2011
September 28th, 2011
All photos © Giulio Di Sturco.
Despite being home to the world’s largest breakwater, the port city of Kamaishi, Japan, was partially destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami last March 11. This former capital of Samurai steel production was bombarded by the US navy during WWII, and has survived several tsunamis in the past. Now, the surviving residents are attempting to pick up the pieces, and start life again. Yumi Goto, a curator, discovered Giulio Di Sturco’s images of the city when he contributed to the “3/11 Tsunami Photo Project,” an iPad/iPhone photography book app that Goto edited. “When he attempted to photograph certain areas, he was told that there was no need as there was nothing newsworthy to be found,” Goto says. “Believing that he would find people stranded there, he ignored the advice [and] reached places beyond where other photographers stopped. The enormous challenges that he faced are apparent in the photographs.” Giulio Di Sturco’s Tsunami project will be on view in the exhibition, “11-3″ at Galleria Openmind in Milano, Italy, from Nov. 24 – Jan. 20, 2012.
May 12th, 2010
All photos © Jake Price
The six-month anniversary of the March 11 tsunami that struck northeastern Japan came and went with little attention in the Western press. But New York-based photographer Jake Price, who has spent a total of ten weeks in Tōhoku since March, believes the environmental devastation the disaster wrought will be a story for a long time to come. While the media has focused on nuclear contamination, he says, “Walking past overturned boats, cars, trucks, I realized that their oil, gas and other chemicals emptied into the soil and groundwater.” He photographed mounds made from the bulldozed debris of entire towns, which contain insulation, fiberglas and chemical contaminants.
The salt water and oil that washed into farms has made the land unusable for five years or more. ”Many elderly farmers will never see growth on their land again. Still they work diligently to hand it off to future generations, an issue that is filled with uncertainty because so many young people have left for the big cities.”
Price shot many still images, video and audio in the region, and the BBC showed some of his images in an audio slide show.
Of the limited press attention paid to the crisis, Price notes, “I think the perception … is that the Japanese have everything figured out because it is such an orderly society. But that is simplistic at best. People are still coping with enormous stress and loneliness after losing everything.”
Though assignments to cover the story are rare, Price is planning to return to the region soon. “The more I get to know about Tōhoku the more interested I become.” He wants to donate his images to libraries and community centers to help the region begin restoring the visual record lost in the tsunami.
The ruins of Xuankou middle school in Yingxiu town, leveled by the massive 2008 earthquake in southwestern China. The Chinese government has officially endorsed tours of devastated areas as a form of economic subsidy.
“Sichuan 5.12 Earthquake Ruins Tour” by Ambroise Tèzenas is included in the PDN Photo Annual 2010 online gallery.