Whether detonated in conflict, or to test their terrible force, the legacy of nuclear explosions is inescapable. A generation gap of grandparents and parents offers no protection to the descendants of their victims and the tissue of history. Most of us have no sense of the reverberations of nuclear explosions. But from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the thousands of tests conducted around the world, a number of young people share the inheritance of nuclear explosions.
From Japan, Kazakhstan, the Marshall Islands and the USA – a partial inventory only – Atomic Reporters has invited these descendants to relate their experiences. The participants used their mobile phones to record their impressions. Atomic Reporters thanks them deeply for their generosity in addressing a difficult and painful subject. Japan is the only country where atomic weapons have been used in conflict.
In Kazakhstan, the former Soviet Union conducted hundreds of tests over decades at the Semipalatinsk range known as the Polygon. The US tested nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands in the Central Pacific for nearly three decades where rising sea levels from climate disruption threatens dumped radioactive waste. The first ever nuclear weapon, ‘the gadget,’ was detonated in New Mexico and the descendants of downwinders exposed to fallout continue to seek justice.
This is a series of videos. We will be posting a new video daily.
5th of August – Sara, 23, North Carolina, USA
“I am Sara Burkinshaw, a third generation hibakusha. I’m participating in this project to share my Grandmother’s story in the hope of preventing others from experiencing what she and her family went through.”
Read more aobut her and her mothers story:
6th of August – Mizuki, 21, Hiroshima, Japan
“The reason that I join this project: I want to take action for world peace as a Hiroshima citizen and third generation of Hibakusha.”
7th of August – Jimmy, Marshall Islands
“My name is Jimmy Jamos and I live in the Marshall Islands. The reason I am taking part in this project is because justice for nuclear testing of my islands is everything to me, and I don’t want it to happen again.”
8th of August – Seira, 21, Hiroshima, Japan
“I asked my grandmother about her experiences in the bombing for the first time in my life. …..Listening to her stories I actually realised that I’m a third generation Hibakusha.”
9th of August – Emi, 23, Hiroshima, Japan
“I used to have recurring nightmares as a kid about nuclear weapons, but to know that for my grandmother it wasn’t just a nightmare but a reality drives me to want to pass on her strong desire to have this never occur again.”
10th of August – Livia, 20, New Mexico, USA
“I am part of the steering committee for the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium (in New Mexico where the first atom bomb was detonated). I’m glad I could participate in this project, as I have always been feeling the need to reach out to everyone, especially young people, about the importance of reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons and just how damaging those weapons are.”
11th of August – Iskander, Semey, Kazakhstan
“I am joining the Atomic Reporters project with great pride and responsibility. The common nuclear history and pain of people from Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Nevada to Semey (100 Km from the Semipalatinsk test range) should unite us to make further step towards nuclear free world.”