Notes by Nishiko in reflection on the meeting,
Sorry for being late. I found the report I and Sachi wrote were first of all very long and we wrote what we thought, rather than what happened there, so it was quite subjective and I was wondering if it is still useful for you. I don't know if you want to add something more to the revised version but, I try to cite some parts I think you might like to hear, in short.
I feel there is a big gap in the perception of the events in Japan between the people involved and people who live outside of Japan. People try to understand what's going on in Japan very theoretically and from limited sources of information. While inside of Japan is a huge chaos or confusion, it is impossible to grasp the situation. In general I was quite disappointed by the questions I received about my stay in Tohoku, after I returned to the Netherlands. I felt people just expect dreadful stories caused by the radiation. The gap between the actual reality and the projection of the situation form people outside will only grow. I think what an artist can or should do is to try tonarrow down this gap.
Artist in residencies in Japan like Arcus and Youkobo are in even more complexed situation as they cannot move their location to avoid the subject. Mami said the artists who do the residency program have to be aware that the authorities might use them to promote the region or the country. On the other hand Youkobo stressed he doesn't mean to promote safety in Japan but he wants to welcome those who still wish to come. This requires from artists more determination than before. He or she needs to know what and why (s)he wants to work in Japan and has to be very sure about it, regardless the work is about the radiation issue or not. Taking a risk is inevitable.
From an artist point of view Sachi and I both found it very interesting to listen to the story of Cascoland. How they dealt with the situation of the Syrian artist was not something that emerged out of blue, but happened to be a very similar subject to what they work with normally. Cascoland has extended their field of activity by working with lawyers but they were not totally alien to the subject. I felt sympathy when theyexplained they are not looking for another refugee artist to help, but at the same timestill preparing for it. It is very contradictory, but that's the way it goes.
Yes, something like this. Hope what you understand of my broken English will do something for you.
Good monday evening.