Living to tell a tale

Living to tell a tale

Enlightening talk

The talk by John Clammer, a resident of Japan, at the National Gallery of Modern Art in the City recently was quite enlightening simply because the talk was steeped in reality.

Well-informed : John Clammer

According to John, who was witness to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, people in Japan still live with the after effects of the nuclear

During the talk, John took the audience through images of people struggling to cope with the disaster.

“The crops have been destroyed, there was a time when there was no food to eat and nothing to subsist on. But we survived and continue to live through the crisis,” said John. 

 Through images, John showed how people in Japan had to flee with their belongings.  “After the nuclear explosion, people were evacuated from the place. We were given a reassurance that everything would be alright but the long-term effects can still be felt by people in Japan,” explained John.

 Recalling his experience, John said that the whole episode was like watching a science-fiction movie. “Close to 500,000 people had to leave Japan.

There was no petrol, acute food shortage, we had never faced such a critical situation,” he said.

John said he didn’t leave because he firmly believed that he belonged in Japan. “I survived with canned food like beans, sardines and whatever wouldn’t get spoilt.

There was no water and the sea water, which still had radio active elements in it, was pumped in to cool the reactors. And drinking water was virtually unavailable,” he added. 

Those in the audience were well-informed about the nuclear disaster and the repercussions of the same. But they said that the short film and real videos gave them a feel of what the people in Japan had really gone through.

Atul Chokshi, a professor at the IISc, said, “We were always aware of the impact but the personal videos and impression made all the difference and made a bigger impact. I think it’s time to re-examine the whole nuclear energy issue.”

Sahana Rao, a student, dubbed the entire presentation as insightful. She said, “John took us through the real disaster and how it impacted the lives of people living in Japan. Despite the tragedy, it’s nice to see people coping rather well.”