Japan Syndrome

Festival of Post-Fukushima Art and Politics

Filmstill: Hikaru Fujii

Since Fukushima, Japan has not only faced enormous environmental problems, but has been forced to deal with psychological and political repercussions as well. The election victories of parties which advocate nuclear energy demonstrate that there is a strong wish to suppress the memory of past events. On the other hand, many artists have come to realize that Fukushima uncovered hidden fractures in Japanese society. In their works, the artists focus on the resulting agony and speechlessness following the disaster, the myths of the post-war period and the faith in unlimited economic growth through cheap energy. In the project “Japan Syndrome”, the HAU Hebbel am Ufer Theatre was hosting a cross-disciplinary festival which addressed the question of how Japanese society had changed since Fukushima. Among the invited artists was the young director Takuya Murakawa, whose production addressed the fundamental problems of human communication, while a harrowing conversational play by Toshiki Okada presented an immediate reaction to the catastrophe. In “Japan Syndrome”, from which the festival took its name, the fine artist Tadasu Takamine held interviews with residents of Berlin and developed the piece further in this way. The project also included a diverse musical programme, discussions, film screenings and an exhibition featuring current Manga films.

Artistic directors: Annemie Vanackere, Christoph Gurk
Artists: Akira Takayama / director (JP), Toshiki Okada / director, author (JP), Takuya Murakawa / director (JP), Tadasu Takamine / director, artist (JP), Tori Kudo / musician, composer (JP), Sangatsu / musician (JP), Ottomo Yoshihide / musician (JP), Hikaru Fujii / artist, film director, and others


HAU Hebbel am Ufer

Stresemannstr. 29

10963 Berlin

www.hebbel-am-ufer.de (external link, opens in a new window)