Kevin B. Chen
Mayumi Hamanaka
What We Talk About When We Talk About Land, 2012
Single channel video, 29:00

“This project started in reaction to what happened in Japan after the 3.11 earthquake. In this work, I convey my interpretation of the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami to someone else, like myself, who didn’t experience the 3.11 earthquake directly. When the earthquake and tsunami hit the northern part of Japan last year on March 11, I watched the news stories unfold on the internet. However my interpretation reflects my own background and story. The area where I grew up is also a small coastal town in Japan with many records of tsunamis in its history. Recent research shows that if the 3.11 level earthquake happens in the southern pacific side of Japan, the tsunami will reach my town within 5 minutes. It is real in a way.

This piece has two sections -- Part 1: Shonto Begay and Part 2: Dave Fazenbaker. Shonto and Dave discuss their backgrounds, and give me their reactions reflecting their own stories. In Part 1, Shonto talks about his displacement from his home and land by the U.S. government, and how his connection to his land and community helped him go through life. He also talks about radiation problems in Navajo communities by the U.S. nuclear testing in Nevada. In Part 2, Dave talks about his connection to the ocean and to his community.

Their stories resonate with what happened/what's happening in Japan after the earthquake. I feel that we could only imagine the other people’s pain by seeing it as our own.” – Mayumi Hamanaka

(re)collection – A collaboration with Lost and Found: Family Photos Swept by the 3.11 East Japan Tsunami

September 12 – October 27, 2012
Intersection for the Arts
San Francisco, CA
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