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Recent news​

Harsha Nahata: Activate the 'quiet' generation

Harsha Nahata April 2013

 

Ann Arbor is a city that’s considered to be fairly activist-oriented, yet at times the lack of awareness surprises me. It’s not that we don’t have causes we’re passionate about, but the stress of going through college, getting into graduate school or finding a job makes it difficult to focus on much else. We defer activism to the social-justice organizations, or the human-rights clubs or the Community Action and Social Change minors. We leave it up to those who are on the career path of “activism.”

 

In a 2007 New York Times column, Thomas Friedman coined us Generation “Q” — Q for quiet. He wrote, “I can report that the more I am around this generation of college students, the more I am both baffled and impressed … I am baffled because they are so much less radical and politically engaged than they need to be.”

Presenting HIBAKUSHA To The World: Animated film conveys the hibakusha experience

Keiko Fukuda November 2012

Was the atomic bomb a necessity? Was it really necessary for America to drop the atomic bomb in Japan on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The answer to that question varies greatly depending on whether you’re Japanese or American, as well as how much you know about the people who experienced the bombings.

 

Growing up in post-war Japan, August 6th was always associated with the “Day Of Peace” for me. Even though it was during our summer vacation, we would return to school for that one day. There, we learned about the many lives that were sacrificed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki decades ago, and every year we swore in our hearts, “Never to repeat this tragedy again.” So after moving to America as an adult, I was shocked to learn that a surprising number of people were of the opinion that “The war would not have ended without dropping the atomic bomb. If the war had continued, ground-based combat would have spread from Okinawa to mainland Japan and even more lives would have been lost. In other words, the atomic bomb was a necessary measure.”

Hibakusha: Hope and Peace in the Aftermath of Nuclear Destruction

Waseem Mainuddin October 2012

Steve Nguyen’s upcoming project, Hibakusha, documents the life of Kaz Suyeishi, a Hiroshima atomic bomb survivor and lecturer who talks about the aftermath of nuclear destruction. Suyeishi travels to New York for an interview with the local channel 4 News and Paul Tibbets, the pilot whose aircraft dropped the a-bomb on Hiroshima. At points during the interview, Suyeishi’s mind wanders back to the time in Hiroshima before the bombing and the horror of the aftermath. The film takes its name for the Japanese word for the atomic bomb survivors, literally translating to “Explosion-covered people.” The film’s first screening is on October 20th at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

'Hibakusha' Keeps Hiroshima-Nagasaki Voices Alive

Ken Choy October 2012

When it comes to animating war and tragedy, the new film Hibakusha has a number of noteworthy predecessors. Certainly Persepolis -- nominated for an Academy Award in 2007 -- brought new depth and gravity to the animation world. Based on Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel about her life during the Iranian Revolution, the feature length film received high critical praise as well as multiple awards. However, it did not win the Academy Award, losing to Disney’s Ratatouille. The next year was marked by release of Waltz with Bashir, about Ari Folman’s experiences as an Israel Defense Forces soldier during the Lebanon war. That film was also nominated for an Academy Award, in the Foreign Language Film category.