ARCHIVE

Following the Farmers of Northern Japan, After the Quake

Filmmaker Junko Kajino grew up on a farm in Japan and, although she now lives in Chicago, she’s remained interested in the organic farming community back home. In the weeks since the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Dai-ichi, Kajino has kept a close eye on the organic rice and vegetable growers in the area and she noticed certain themes in the messages appearing on blogs and social media sites. “They focused on how to reduce radiation, how to cultivate their contaminated land, and what they can grow in their polluted soil,” she recalls.

Despite the severe damage to their land and the heightened concern about ongoing radiation, Kajino says, the farmers were not complaining. Instead, she says, they’ve  started talking about what to plant. “This was the hope I saw in the last several months and I need to document that.” Read more

Haiti: The Aid Masquerade

The horror in Haiti is beyond anything we can imagine in the U.S., but this apocalyptic catastrophe has something in common with Hurricane Katrina; in both cases, a terrible natural disaster was made infinitely worse by human negligence and incompetence. How many thousands of Haitians could have survived the earthquake if the country weren’t crippled by chronic poverty, shoddy infrastructure, environmental degradation and a host of other ills that have plagued Haiti for centuries? Read more