Shadowlands is a Greenpeace presentation of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the displaced people, and the human cost of a serious nuclear accident and features the work of award-winning photographer Robert Knoth and documentary maker Antoinette de Jong.
“The Fukushima nuclear disaster is having a dramatic impact on the environment and the lives of the people from a wide area around the nuclear plant,” explained Knoth. “We sought to document this through landscape and portrait photography, as well as interviews with people from the affected region – some of whom may never be able to return to their homes. What we found was a profound sense of loss.”
Since March 11 2011, Greenpeace have monitored radiation contamination on the environment, food and seafood, highlighting the fact that the Japanese authorities consistently under-report the Fukushima radiation levels.
“The Fukushima nuclear disaster happened because the Japanese authorities failed to protect people, instead choosing to protect the nuclear industry. For this reason, people in Japan continue to be exposed to radiation hazards, even a year later. They have not been compensated for all they have lost, and they have not received the support they need to rebuild their lives,” explained Jan Beránek, head of Greenpeace International’s energy campaign. “This reminds us that millions of people living near reactors anywhere in the world are at risk of suffering the same consequences of a major nuclear disaster.”
The Shadowlands‘ photos capture beautiful landscapes but 150,000 were evacuated from the Fukushima area, leaving behind a haunted town, full of memories but no human life.
“Nature is already taking over. In the early morning, monkeys look for food on the outskirts of villages, wild boars roam the fields, cranes majestically soar over breath-taking scenery, and there is silence,” said Knoth.
Greenpeace is calling on the Japanese government to not restart any nuclear plants and for a global phase out of inherently dangerous nuclear reactors.