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Photo exhibition of zones under evacuation

July 17, 2016

Fukushima exhibition by 2 France-based cameramen underway in Tokyo



A photo exhibition of areas under evacuation orders since the 2011 meltdowns at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is now underway in Tokyo. The photos on display include cars buried in thick grass, and dried vegetables and fish at an abandoned supermarket.

Guillaume Bression of France and Carlos Ayesta of Venezuela took the photos in evacuation zones within 20 kilometers of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s nuclear power plant after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami triggered the nuclear disaster.

The photo exhibition is a combination of documentary work and art. In a series titled ''Akumu'' (nightmare), the photographers laid out cellophane in forests, seas and parks to make it look like see-through borders. An accompanying caption says, ''Residents are fighting the fear of invisible nuclear radiation because they don't know the border between safety and danger. Reality stands out from fiction.''

Bression, 35, came to Tokyo from Paris three months before the 2011 nuclear disaster to work as a contract cameraman for a French TV network. ''I studied energy conservation and environmental problems before becoming a photographer. I thought I have to reveal about the effects of the nuclear accident as a journalist.''

As time passes, he thinks there has been less talk in Japan of the Fukushima nuclear accident. ''Interest (in the accident) abroad has further diminished. It's our role to keep transmitting (the Fukushima reality) through foreigners' perspective.''

The impact of the Fukushima disaster has spread to France which relies on nuclear power for more than 70 percent of its power generation. French President Francois Hollande has promised to reduce nuclear power in the country.

Ayesta, 31, who is based in Paris, says, ''Nuclear power generation carries big risks in earthquake-prone Japan. It will become a big issue in France.''

The pair met while studying at a school of photography in Paris. They teamed up in 2009.

Their exhibition at Chanel Nexus Hall in Tokyo's Ginza district runs through July 24.

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