Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"Colorful Silence and Sad Laughter: Drawing Recovery in post-March 2011 Japan", November 1 at Pitt.

On November 1, the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Disaster Management and the Asian Studies Center will host Dr. Ronni Alexander and her talk "Colorful Silence and Sad Laughter: Drawing Recovery in post-March 2011 Japan".

The Popoki Friendship Story project began shortly after the March 11, 2011 triple disaster (earthquake, tsunami, nuclear meltdown) in north eastern Japan. At first, the project involved drawing freely on a long cloth decorated on one end with a drawing of a cat named Popoki. She found that people often draw what they cannot, or do not, express in words and that drawing helps people to begin to interact with one another.

Over the [ensuing] five years, Dr. Alexander continued to re-visit the town of Otsuchi inviting people to make new drawings and tell their stories. Similar programs have been held in other places affected by disaster, as well as in other communities in the context of thinking about disaster risk reduction and redefining the ways we understand the meaning of security in our everyday lives. As time passes, she is learning what began as a short-term support project has the potential to reveal the frequently hidden side of disaster by tracing the emotional changes that take places as people and communities move toward recovery.
The talk starts at 3:30 pm in the Alcoa Room of the Barco Law Building (map) and is free and open to the public.