Inaugural professorial lecture: Carolyn Stevens on

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Date(s) - Wed 22 Aug
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

JSC Auditorium
Monash University, Clayton Campus
Clayton 3168

While the magnitude 9 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 11 March 2011 was unprecedented in Japanese modern history, some observed that through its experience of disasters such as the Great Kanto Earthquake, the Tokyo air raids, the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the Sarin Gas Attack and the Great Hanshin Earthquake, Japanese society was better placed than any other collective in the developed world to overcome these catastrophes.

‘Resilience’ was a word used repeatedly with admiration to describe the Japanese people’s responses to the events. This lecture explores how suffering and resilience have been expressed in the postwar era, comparing images taken in the immediate aftermath of 3/11 with other iconic images of Japanese victims, such as the hibakusha of Nagasaki, and Minamata disease patients. In particular, I hope to shed insight on how suffering is visually expressed to create a compassionate collective i dentity. An analysis of these photographs give us an opportunity us to re-examine the meaning of victimhood, and a re-examination of the nation that responds to tragedy.

For more information please see the Event Flyer [PDF 324 KB]