An international exhibition documenting the impact of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki will open in London on Monday (2nd August). Transported from Japan and on display in London for the first time, the exhibition includes artefacts recovered from the wreckage and the rare opportunity to hear first hand from one of the remaining survivors of the Hiroshima bomb.
Timed to coincide with the 65th anniversary of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August the 6th and 9th, the two-week long, free exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks by anti-nuclear campaigners, academics and the personal testimony of the 77 year old Shoso Kawamoto – a 12 year old school boy at the time of the Hiroshima bombing. Highlighting how the impact of nuclear weapons continues for decades after the conflict they were used in concluded, Shoso Kawamoto will describe the cancers and deformities which affect survivors and their descendents even now and how he himself was rejected by the family of his intended bride for fear of those effects. Interviews with Shoso Kawamoto will be available.
Curated by the internationally-renowned Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the collection includes 18 artefacts recovered from the aftermath of the bombings in which a combined total of 340,000 people died. A pocket watch stopped at the time of the detonation (for image, see note 3), clothes worn by victims as they were exposed, a roof tile bubbled by the searing heat rays and glass melted and deformed by the fire will all be on display.
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said “Visiting this exhibition will give people a very rare chance to connect with one of the darkest moments of modern history, seeing artefacts from the very dawn of the nuclear age in which we still live. The moving photographs and stories show how, as in 1945, cities and their civilian populations are sadly still targets for these most horrific of weapons – but it will also hopefully leave people with a sense that we can and must build a safer nuclear-free future.
“We are particularly honoured to have Hiroshima survivor Shoso Kawamoto opening the exhibition and speaking at several events. It won’t be many years until there are no survivors left and hearing their testimony – of lives turned upside down in an instant – is always a deeply moving experience. Mr Kawamoto will be joining us for the annual commemoration on the anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb when we remember the huge number of lives destroyed in attacks which historians increasingly agree came after Japan had decided to surrender.
“With Britain considering spending in excess of ?76bn of taxpayers’ money on a replacement for the Trident nuclear weapons system, we hope a visit to this exhibition will help people appreciate the immense human as well as financial cost represented by nuclear weapons.”
Press Preview: 2-3pm, Sunday 1st August, directly before the opening ceremony from 3-4pm. Press interviews with Mr Kawamoto 4-4.40pm. Prior registration for the preview, opening ceremony and interviews is necessary. Interviews at other times may also be arranged.
Title: ‘After the Bomb Dropped: How Hiroshima and Nagasaki Suffered’
Dates: Monday 2nd – Thursday 12th August 2010
Location: Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
Opening Hours: 10am-5.30pm daily
Fee: Free of charge
Transport: London Euston (rail/underground), Kings Cross/St Pancras (rail/underground), Euston Sq (underground), Russell Sq (underground).
Organised by: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) working with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Format: 58 photo panels, 6 panoramas, 18 artefacts
– ends – For further information and interviews please contact CND’s Press Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 35,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.
Within the exhibition there will be a Paper Crane Booth. Long considered to be a symbol of peace in Japan, huge volumes of the origami birds are sent to Hiroshima and Nagasaki every year. Their association with the Hiroshima bombing is based on the story of Sadako Sasaki who was exposed to the A-bomb at age two and developed an A-bomb disease ten years later, leading to her death aged 12. Believing that folding paper cranes would lead to her recovery, she continued folding them until the very end. There will be a paper crane corner where visitors can fold paper cranes as a contribution to peace.
Events list: All events are fee of charge and require no prior registration
The events programme will include a series of events to explore further the realities of nuclear warfare, including a rare chance to hear from a survivor of the bomb, plus talks, music, and events for children and young people.
The Enduring Legacy of the Bomb: Chair of CND Kate Hudson and Quaker Caroline Westgate will discuss the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the development of the peace movement in the years following the bombings. Friends House, Quaker Centre, 7pm-9pm
Survivor testimony: Mr. Shoso Kawamoto, an A-bomb survivor, will talk to south London CND groups about his experience of surviving the atomic destruction of August 1945. Charlton House Public Library, Charlton Road, Greenwich, London SE7 8RE, 6pm-10pm
Film screening: Children of Nagasaki & On a Paper Crane: Two short films about the bombings from the perspective of children. Friends House, Room 4, 2pm-3.30pm
Survivor testimony: Mr. Kawamoto will talk about his experience of surviving the atomic destruction of Hiroshima. Muswell Hill Quaker Meeting House, Church Crescent, London, N10 3NE, 7pm-9pm
Survivor testimony: Mr. Kawamoto will talk to Tower Hamlets CND about his experience of surviving the atomic destruction of August 1945. St Paul’s Church, Bow Common, Burdett Road, Tower Hamlets, E3 4TN, 7.30pm-9.20pm
6th August: Hiroshima Day memorial ceremony, noon-1pm, Tavistock Square Hiroshima memorial tree. Speakers: Cllr. Jonathan Simpson (Mayor of Camden), Ken Livingstone, Shoso Kawamoto (survivor), Kate Hudson (CND Chair), 15-year old Sonia Azad (Children Against the War), 104-year old Hetty Bower. Chair: Jeremy Corbyn MP (inv) Following on from the London memorial event in Tavistock Square, there will be a talk by Mr. Kawamoto – a survivor of the A-bomb. Tavistock Square, 12 noon-1pm. Friends House, Quaker Centre, 2pm-3.30pm.
9th August: Nagasaki Day
Tour and Peace Vigil: CND’s Chris Wood will be conducting a tour of the exhibition, followed by a Christian CND Peace Vigil in the Peace Garden at Friends House. Those wishing to participate in the Battersea Peace Walk will walk from there to Westminster Cathedral for a Pax Christi service at 6:30pm, and to the Battersea Peace Pagoda from 7.30pm.
Friends House, Room 7, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ. Assemble in Friends House reception at 4pm for tour. Tour from 4.05pm-4.30pm. Peace vigil from 4.30pm-5.00pm. Walk from Friends House to Westminster Cathedral 5pm-6.30pm. Pax Christi service at the Crypt Chapel, Westminster Cathedral, 6.30pm-7.30pm. Peace Walk from Westminster Cathedral to Battersea Peace Pagoda from 7.30pm. Assemble at 8.30pm by the Peace Pagoda for memorial ceremony.
Dr. Christopher Gerteis, Lecturer in the History of Contemporary Japan at SOAS, will be talking about life in Hiroshima and Nagasaki before and after the atomic bombings of August 1945 by examining some of the artefacts on display in the exhibition. Friends House, Room 7, 7pm-8pm
Film screening: Hiroshima Witness: Atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima describe their experiences of the bombing. Friends House, Room 4, 2pm-4pm
Godly Play: Fire from the sky: An event for children (5+) to explore the story of Hiroshima and resistance to war using a method called Godly Play. Friends House, Quaker Centre, 2pm-3pm