Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert: Japan’s Nuclear Landscape

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Mini Feature

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert is one of four Scottish documentary photographers who make up Document Scotland, a collective founded in 2012 whose swift rise has brought them to the National Galleries of Scotland this autumn with their show The Ties That Bind, which explores what it means to be Scottish, whether for women hill farmers, football fans or, in Jeremy’s case, the communities that stage the elaborate Ridings of the Borders every year. His book on the subject – Unsullied and Untarnished – is out now with a foreword by Harry Benson CBE and an essay by Alex Massie.

Jeremy, who has photographed for Greenpeace for over a decade, was at Street Level Photoworks in September with his friend, prize-winning Japanese daguerrotype photographer Takashi Arai, to discuss the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its consequences in Japan. For those who couldn’t make it, you can watch them on Street Level’s YouTube feed.

SSHoP is delighted to present a selection of Jeremy’s moving and original work made in Japan after the Fukushima disaster struck.

Become a SSHoP member to read the partner piece by Takashi Arai with an essay by eminent Japanese critic Mariko Takeuchi which will be published online in November.

Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

These images chart the unfolding, and still continuing, disaster resulting from the triple-nuclear meltdown, on March 12th 2011, of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

Following the massive Great East Japan earthquake, and the resulting tsunami which swept ashore, the Fukushima Daiichi plant exploded, spewing nuclear radiation far and wide across a swathe of north eastern Japan.

Now, more than four years late, workers still battle to control the disaster at the plant and to deal with the aftermath and clean up. Residents of the area surrounding the nuclear plant still live in temporary shelter and accommodation, to which they evacuated the day after the explosions, and wonder if they will ever be able to return home safely.

And the Japanese government, with one eye on the business of restarting their 50+ nuclear reactors, and with the 2020 Olympics looming, wish to present a face of calm and safety to the world, continue to scrub the forests of Iitate prefecture, one stone at a time, one twig at a time, in an attempt to decontaminate the radioactive fallout across the land.