Picturing the invisible: The Fukushima disaster 10 years on

Science says it’s essential to make time to do nothing. Here’s why

Most weeks, I spend my days working from home — thinking, writing, and trying to remember to unmute my Zoom mic before I start talking. By the end of the day, when I finally close my laptop, my brain is fried. Most nights I’m so zonked it’s all I can do to open Instagram and scroll through my feed until time becomes a blur, wanting to stop but unable to tear myself away from the comforting narcotic glow of novelty and stimulation.

Watching a show on Netflix, then, isn’t downtime because it requires focused attention. If anything, it’s closer to work than it is to downtime. Same goes for social media apps.

When I finally snap out of it, I usually have to play a Conan clip on YouTube just to entertain myself long enough to get up and brush my teeth. I collapse into bed and binge-watch some Netflix, then put on a podcast to lull myself to sleep.

It’s a stressful, Sisyphean cycle, but at least I’m making space each night to give myself the downtime I need…READ ON

Picturing the invisible: The Fukushima disaster 10 years on

It’s hard to believe that the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent devastating tsunami in northeast Japan happened over 10 years ago. But a new exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society has brought together six celebrated photographers to examine the lasting legacy of the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Thermal image of residents from Fukushima Nuclear disaster
A man carrying a camera is photographed in the exclusion zone using a thermal imaging camera. Photo by Giles Price

This exhibit captures how, over ten years after the events of 2011, large areas of land remain uninhabitable. It also explores how efforts to decontaminate the region continue. The exclusion zone is slowly shrinking and as evacuation orders are lifted, residents are being incentivised to return home. So far, few people have chosen to do so. One village found that only a third of its residents chose to return, and more than 70 per cent of those people were over the age of 65…READ ON

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