Hirosahima Nagasaki ZERO PROJECT

Young Japanese, Americans to express peace through co-created works of art in Hiroshima, Nagasaki

by Michiko Tanaka, Staff Writer

An art workshop for young Japanese and Americans will be held this spring in Hiroshima and Nagasaki with participants jointly creating works of art to express the idea of peace. Organized by peace organizations in Japan and the United States, the workshop seeks to discover and cultivate the next generation of leaders for the forefront of the movement to abolish nuclear weapons. Applications for participation are being accepted until the end of January.

About 20 participants will be selected from among the applicants. They will stay in Nagasaki from March 28 to 30, and in Hiroshima from March 30 to April 4, listening to the accounts of A-bomb survivors and learning about the devastation caused by the atomic bombings. Then they will create works of art at a temple in downtown Hiroshima. These pieces will be displayed in a gallery in the city.

Cannon Hersey, 37, a New York-based artist, will make his first visit to Japan as a member of one of the groups supporting this project. Mr. Hersey, a member of the “Pikadon Project” consisting of Japanese and American artists, is the grandson of John Hersey, the American journalist who wrote Hiroshima, an account of the atomic bombing, published in 1946, which evoked a strong response worldwide.

Steven Leeper, 66, former chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, is among those who conceived the idea for this art project. “A peaceful world is something you create beyond differences in language or culture. I hope the workshop will give momentum to this process,” Mr. Leeper said.

Young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who are interested in art and music are eligible to apply. Six people will be selected from Hiroshima, and six from Nagasaki. If there are many applicants, the applications will be screened to make this selection. The participants will be responsible for their own travel expenses to the designated meeting place in addition to 38,000 yen to cover the costs of accommodation and food. Applications should be made by email by January 31. For further information, send a message to p.platform2014@gmail.com or call 090-6979-2661.

(Originally published on January 21, 2015)