Porosity and protection.
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CLARKE, J. 2019. Porosity and protection. Posted on Fieldsights, blog of the Society for Cultural Anthropology. Editors' forum: theorizing the contemporary [online], 25 April 2019. Available from: https://culanth.org/fieldsights/porosity-and-protection?token=ht6B9TmcW_soSwAqhq7lhi-4rwF37mec
The author first saw traces of destruction in the spring of 2014, when driving, with an art therapist friend, towards a coastal village north of the "difficult to return zone", near the Fukushima Diichi nuclear power plant. Known in Japan as 3.11, the so-called triple disaster (the strongest earthquake ever recorded, an ensuing tsunami, and a nuclear “accident” that, together, left 18,000 people dead) devastated the Tohoku region of northeast Japan. As they drove toward the stricken zone, traversing a series of barriers real and imagined with little more than salt to protect them the author reflected on the porosity of bodies and substances—the risks of radiation crossing the boundaries of our skin, entering our bodies through the air we breathed and the food we consumed.