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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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"Classified Casualties and Exposed Trauma: The Photographic Portrayal of Hibakusha"

Friday, March 23 - 3:00PM to 3:45PM
Grand Ballroom C

The unprecedented afflictions induced by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are laid bare in scores of troubling photographs. This lecture investigates the unsettling wavering between the private and public realms characterizing representations of hibakusha. Survivors were often further victimized through the objectification they endured at the hands of the Allied forces intent upon mapping the taxonomy of nuclear casualties. In contrast, the considered memorialization of the hibakusha experience by post-Occupation photographers reflects emotional states of mind struggling to reconcile feelings of helplessness, guilt, indignation, and sorrow. Seen together, these images trigger an uneasy dialectic between fascination and repulsion.


Claude Baillargeon
Claude Baillargeon

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