Accepted Paper:

Memory, heritage and disasters: the cases in Tohoku, Japan and Mozambique  


Kenji Yoshida (National Museum of Ethnology)

Paper short abstract:

The rehabilitation process after the Tsunami disaster of 11 March 2011 in Tohoku, Japan, and a peace-building project of transforming arms into art woks which is going on in Mozambique will be discussed in connection with memory, heritage, art and the museum.

Paper long abstract:

On 11th March, 2011, I was in Kuji, Tohoku District, and met the quake there. Since then, as a scholar who belongs to a museum, an institution of a guardian of heritage, I have been trying to find out what can be done after such a disaster. In the process, with my colleagues, I organized an exhibition entitled "Transmitting memories: Tsunami Disaster and Cultural Heritage" in 2012 to scrutinize the importance of cultural heritage in revitalize the damaged communities. .Meanwhile, as an Africanist, I have also been engaged in a project of commissioning and collecting art works made through the project called TAE (TransformaĆ§Ć£o de Armas em Enxadas) which is going on in Mozambique. It is a project by which weapons remained among people after the end of civil war in 1992 are collected in exchange for hoes, plows, and bicycles, and collected weapons are then transformed into art works by the hands of local artists. The project has been attracting international attention as a model of peace-building after wars. The art works made for National Museum of Ethnology were shown in an exhibition "Transforming Arms into Art" at the same museum last year. Although the nature of disasters is different from each other, both societies face the same issue of how to overcome the tragedy and transmit the memories of the hardship to the future generation while tangible heritages are quickly dismantled or disappeared. The paper will discuss how heritage, art and museums can contribute to the rehabilitation of society.

Panel P083
Heritage bridges people: towards recovery from wars and disasters (CLOSED - 6) (NME panel)