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Speaker Series: The Ontology of "Fukushima Future"

Monday, November 30, 2015
12:00 AM
1014 Tisch Hall

This paper examines post-Fukushima Japan’s amplified preoccupation with future-making by placing it in historical context. In particular, I look at an ongoing pilot project—an offshore floating wind farm in Fukushima— and especially at the first windmill, completed in 2014, which is named "Fukushima Future.” The central government and a nationally-funded project consortium claim that this new alternative energy development not only transforms Fukushima’s shameful dystopia into a utopia, but also that it works to provide “artificial reefs” that will multiply fish populations to provide a sustainable future for the local fishing industry.

Through historical and ethnographic investigation of how the future has been assembled, demolished, and reassembled before and after the disaster, I critically analyze the intimate relationship between the energy industry and marine conservation, and discuss how the bond has always been part of Japan’s unending desire for modernization.