Thursday — 03.11.21 — Fukushima at 10

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Thursday — 03.11.21 — Fukushima at 10

0. Outline
1. Second Call
2. Preface/Postface Fukushima/Virus
3. Our Vigilance Toward Fukushima
4. Fukushima Reverberation by S.K.
5. Contributors
6. Ritornelle

0. Outline

What: Keeping Wake, A Vigil, A Vigilance
When:  March 11, 2021 9:00 EST – 23:00 EST
Where: Online, Virtual, Embodied
Who: Everyone Dedicated to Resist the Imperative to ‘Make Forget Fukushima’
How: tuning in, listening, contributing

FUKUSHIMA 10 / organized with Sabu Kohso Author of Radiation and Revolution.

On Thursday March 11, 2021, we ask you to join us virtually in solidarity and for marking Fukushima at 10.

Your presence is a form of action and keeping vigil, wake with us.

We see this act of solidarity and being together virtually as an experiment. To gather together, in the midst of this pandemic and to refuse the imperative to Make Forget Fukushima.

Please note: We do not expect everyone to speak or even have their cameras on. There will be moments of silence and also moments scheduled with contributors.

Our idea has been to permeate the day with short talks and thoughts, and to also have moments of silence for people to add things as they wish.

Some moments planned, then gaps, openings for silence as well as contributions improvised.

The idea is to create a space of vigilance together, to tune into this wavelength of thinking through Fukushima and this time of the Virus.

We see it also as an occasion to resist think beyond the normalization of increased threats posed by exposure to radiation and novel viruses.

For those interested to join, we ask that you write to MAI [AT] 16beavergroup.org

For those who will be joining, we will send a program of times and confirmed contributors tomorrow evening.

1. Second Call

MARCH 11, 2021

commoners, comrades
friends and friends to come
dreamers beavers weavers

committed to RESIST



to prepare STATEMENTS



FOR the 
for the


2. Preface/Postface Fukushima/Virus

A. If Fukushima has been a preface to this pandemic, then the virus is in equal measure Fukushima’s postface. 

B. What the virus adds or enters into dialogue with in relation to Fukushima is that it expands the fields of perception and the scale of devastation beyond the normalization of exposure to radiation, toxicity or even deadly new variants of viruses or strains of bacteria as everyday phenomena. It marks the displacements and erasures of life worlds which cause even viral life to be forced into refuge and exile. 

C. Acknowledging whatever limits it may impose on our ‘modernized’ and ‘colonized’ ways of thinking, we would claim that if Fukushima reveals the deadly ends of the techno-scientific-developmental-productivist-automated-nuclear utopia of capital; then the virus asks us whether we can begin to imagine to make politics with the accidents, with the exiles, with the inhumanities which apocalyptic capitalism and its recurring disasters are programmed to produce. 

E. Can we make politics with the refuged and refused? Can we think this apocalypse from perspectives beyond the human/inhuman division? Can we act in consort and in response to the immediately negative outcomes of this apocalyptic capitalism, whether they be fires, floods, slides, radiation, or even a virus, to create the conditions not to remedy or rebuild or ‘return to’ but to destitute and decolonize this idea of ‘the world’ under its modern/colonial assertion, which has been and continues to destroy worlds?

3. Our Vigilance Toward Fukushima

In March 11, 2021 we will be marking the 10th year since the onset of the disaster still unfolding in Fukushima. FUKUSHIMA marks a pivotal moment in the recent history of capitalist development. A precise moment when these developments meet their apocalyptic futurities, within one of the most ‘technologically advanced’ countries, exposing its residents and with time all life on the planet to the deteriorated common and shared premises of existence. 

We can briefly share below a few notes which may be points to bring us together for this collective act of vigilance. 

1. We come together to assert that we will refuse this war of oblivion which forces or enjoins us to Forget Fukushima. This war is not by chance. It is and has been the pre-condition time and again to restart not only the race for more deadly forms of military technologies, but also their transferal into so-called civilian life and consumer society as a way of normalizing their developments. 

2. Fukushima reminds us that this production or war of oblivion, which in this case is not a biological or organic process, but rather an engineered and a fabricated one, is one of the most pernicious forces confronting life today. It restricts perception of realities which are precisely those whose perceptions could force us to have to change everything. 

3. But what those who fabricate such processes of oblivion do not realize is that the subterranean forces unleashed by such suppressed events continue to act on all the parties. In order for a lie to become real, the traces, whatever could remind us of this forgotten, disappeared, has to continually be destroyed, erased, falsified. This is the unending work of denialism. Not only Fukushima has to be forgotten, not only its continued effects have to be diminished, but everyone has to be enlisted into a reality that now must become complicit with this falsification and fabrication of falsification. 

4. This silent, subterranean process of the suppressed which becomes repressed, of the social, the political realities of our past, is what continues to act, in its multi fold ways, on our existence and is one of the under-appreciated  political forces of what is called contemporary life. 

5. Fukushima is an emblem of an event of such magnitude that it requires wholesale rethinking of the techno-scientific paradigm which dominates and orients the conduct of life today. It includes the instrumentalization of knowledge toward the  accumulation of capital and development of military armaments. It also includes the lack of any capacity for communities to determine which tools, technologies or developments are acceptable to them and which pose a risk to their well-being, threaten their habitats as well as other life forms. 

6. The breadth of questions that Fukushima raises are precisely why they must MAKE FORGET FUKUSHIMA. And that is precisely why we remain vigilant toward the events of March 11, 2011.

4. Fukushima Reverberation 

It has been ten years. While the event of disaster continues with unrepairable reactors and radiation dissemination, the impacts have been increasingly absorbed into the process of business as usual of the consumerist society, whose immediate threat at the moment is the corona pandemic. What we are really confronting is however less one disaster after another than a synergy of the two or even more.  

In a catastrophe, the event and its aftermath follow a process like ripples of water spreading from a stone thrown in. The ripples become bigger and weaker until they disappear. But in the case of nuclear calamities – either by accidents or bombs – the ripples won’t disappear so long as the half-lives of radionuclides endure. With certain nuclides, the duration could be astronomical. The reverberations after the blast last unknown lengths of time without recovery, even though the reconstruction of destroyed structures is realized sooner or later. 

After the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, while both cities have been reconstructed successfully, the mourning for death did not end with that for the immediate victims; their offshoots have been affected by genetic illnesses — for three generations, as of today. In the case of Fukushima nuclear disaster, the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructures and the mourning for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami have been initiated. But the fact of the ongoing genetic mutations – of all vital activities – has been indefinitely blurred amidst the information war between the pro-nuclear ruling power and the concerned commoners. 

The nuclear attacks of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were strategized by the US Government with a calculation of experimenting new weapons on the Asian other, which could have never been imagined vis-à-vis European relatives, including Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. After the war, the American initiative of designing Japan’s postwar constitution was a continuation of experimentation in a second stage, to create a most convenient client state for preparing the coming cold war, by domesticating the other in its insular laboratory. It turned out to be a miraculous success. While Japan achieved economic prosperity, the US secured ideal military bases for the wars in Korea and Vietnam. 

The introduction of nuclear power into civilian life was part of the experimentation. The strategic application of “Atoms for Peace” was made possible by offsetting the aftereffects and memories of nuclear genocide by the utopian dream of future. For the nation that had just experienced the atrocities of war and immiseration of poverty, a new life focusing on industrial and economic activities appeared to be heavenly. In this manner, the people came to be entrapped in the double bind of two faces of nuclear fission – weapon and energy – which actually meant seeking economic prosperity under the umbrella of American control and protection. In such context, Japan’s anti-nuclear and anti-Imperialist impetuses, that had arisen during the 50s, were split into a few conflictual factions: anti-nuclear weapon and anti-nuclear energy, anti-nuclear weapon and pro-nuclear energy, pro-Soviet nuclear weapon and anti-American nuclear weapon, (..) 

The event of Fukushima Disaster was perceived as a historical repetition of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the collective unconscious of the nation. While the first one was a pure tragedy caused by the enemy of war, the second one was tragicomedy – if not a sheer farce – the state ambition for nuclear development inflicted on its own people. But the event of Fukushima also destroyed the structure of oblivion vis-à-vis the original tragedy, constructed by the postwar double bind. As such, the catastrophe functioned as a revelation to the people. That was the only positive aspect of the disaster. The revelation too reverberates like ripples in different spatio-temporalities. 

To name but a few dimensions of revelation:

– The essential absurdity of installing nuclear reactors in the earthquake-prone archipelago.
– The nature of Japan’s postwar regime as a strategic construct by American imperialism.
– The difference between those who are creating lives in the society (farmers, fishers and reproductive workers) and those who are endangering them for realizing the statist slogan from the Meiji Restoration: “wealthy nation, strong arms.”
– The privileged role of nuclear power – beyond being a kind of energy source – for sustaining the global order (the World) that consists of capitalist nation states in actual and virtual state of war.
– The apocalypse that today’s capitalism ensures by assimilating itself to the nuclear industry, which, spatially, stretches its industrial sectors — mining, transportation, energy, research, and military — across the planet and which, temporally, grants it zombie life through the endless demand for the managements of its wastes.

The period of about two and a half years after the wake of disaster was a moment of collective awakening for the people, whereby they created initiatives, including street protests, direct actions, legal battles, autonomous researches on nuclear science and related medicine, radiation monitoring, information sharing, coordinated care, organized evacuation (…). This moment has expanded our concept of the political to involve all existential territories: individual minds and bodies, sociality and environment. But then, the status quo made a big return with the celebration of reconstruction (whose zenith was supposed to be the coming Tokyo Olympics), without recovery. Where did the moment of collective awakening go? 

After ten years of its wake, the Fukushima event is synergized by the pandemic and other troubles. That is to say, we are being awoken by a complexity of revelations, wherein the problematic of nuclear power is just a part of the World in decline. What Radiation and Revolution sought to do in pursuit of the power that sustains the global nuclear regime and the lives-as-struggle of the planetary populace that could decompose it must be expanded into the planetary complexity of power and struggle. 

Sabu Kohso, March 11th 2021

5. Contributors include:

Yoko Hayasuke
Silvia Federici
Ben Morea
Sabu Kohso
Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi
Norihito Nakata
Peter Linebaugh
Jason Waite
The Otolith Group
Ayreen Anastas
Claire Fontaine
Nick Mirzoeff
Silvia Maglioni
Rolando Vasquez
Thomas Lamarre
Begonia Santa-Cecila
Luis Moreno-Caballud
Graeme Thomson
Pia Lindman
Jesal Kapadia
Angela Melitopoulos
Ian Boal
Rene Gabri
Livia Monnet
Philippe Blouin
Nicolas Gauthier
Éditions de la rue Dorion
Firefly Frequencies
Center for Convivial Research and Autonomy
You Me We
and many more Friends

6. Ritornelle

On March 11, 2021, we would like to convene an event, which acts as vigil and a vigilance against the making forget of Fukushima.

We realize that in these ten years, various reflections and lucidities have emerged in relation to the disaster still unfolding, leaking, and radiating from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. We would like to come together on this day to fight these forces of oblivion and attempt to map out through a collective process what is the significance of Fukushima? How can we understand its meaning and its place within the constellation of urgent struggles unfolding throughout the planet? What contradictions and cracks appear in the large ensembles which attempt to contain its significance? How has its significance changed over these last ten years? 
How to draw relations, continuities, and discontinuities between Fukushima and this exceptional state of the virus? What is the exigency to Make Forget Fukushima? And what does remaining vigilant toward Fukushima call for?

Despite the challenges of convening online and virtually, we want to try and concentrate the energies toward analyzing, reflecting, remembering, but also proposing ways in which Fukushima can act as a sun, albeit a black sun which may open our perceptions to an insurgent politics in the face of forced oblivion and an unfolding apocalypse.