The entrance to the Department of History’s office in Sidney Smith Hall

A Body in Fukushima: Reflections on the Nuclear in Everyday Life

Start Date and Time:

Saturday, March 16, 2019, 1:00PM

End Date and Time:

Saturday, March 16, 2019, 5:00PM


Marilyn Ivy (Columbia University), Katy McCormick (Ryerson University), Lisa Yoneyama (University Of Toronto), Tong Lam (University Of Toronto)

This is a multi-sited, multi-media, and multi-disciplinary event that demonstrates how art can contribute to critical reflection on the nuclearization of everyday life in our contemporary world. Since 2014 Eiko Otake and William Johnston have photographed the performer among the ruins and abandoned places that have been left in the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe of March 2011. Following a magnitude 9 earthquake off the coast of Northeastern Japan, a massive tsunami inundated reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Plant, resulting in meltdowns in three reactors. The Fukushima disaster is regarded as the second largest nuclear accident in history, and yet its full consequences remain temporally and spatially boundless and ultimately unknowable -- a reality that Otake’s haunting bodily performances and Johnston’s striking photography make so compelling. Otake’s and Johnston’s collaborative work on Fukushima has been exhibited in major venues across the Americas and appears in Canada for the first time.

Eiko Otake is a world-renowned, movement-based artist who performed as Eiko and Koma for more than forty years before beginning her solo performances for the project, "A Body in Places." Her awards include a Guggenheim, MacArthur, Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award, and Dance Magazine Award for lifetime achievement. William Johnston is a photographer and historian whose critically acclaimed written work and photography have focused on issues of the body, sexuality, disease, the environment, and public health. The symposium accompanying the exhibitions and performance will feature presentations by leading scholars and artists working across disciplines.

Contact Information

Dasha Kuznetsova

Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies


Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue view full map


Lectures, Screenings


Alumni and Friends, Community, Faculty, Staff, First-Year Students, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Students, Orientation, Prospective Graduate Students, Prospective Undergraduate Students

“Movement-based artist Eiko Otake, photographed by William Johnston, 2017”
Photographed by William Johnston, 2017