Slow Violence And What Challenges Does It Pose For Environmental Justice

E-response to Nixon, 99% Invisible, and Hashimoto

For this week’s e-response, please read Rob Nixon’s Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

Actions, listen to 99% Invisible’s “Ten Thousand Years (Links to an external site.),” watch Isao Hashimoto’s three short films (linked below), and answer the following questions:

1.  According to Rob Nixon, what is “slow violence” and what challenges does it pose for environmental justice?  Cite specific examples.  Nixon asks, “How do we bring home—and bring emotionally to life—threats that take time to wreak their havoc, threats that never materialize in one spectacular, explosive, cinematic scene?”  What does he suggest in answer to this question?

2.  According to the 99% Invisible podcast, what is one of the major challenges involved in designing a marker for the WIPP site?  What suggested marker/marking system in this story did you find most compelling and why?  The podcast ends in Tellevast, Florida with the story of a community exposed to beryllium (a material used in the manufacturing process for nuclear weapons).  How does a place like Tellavast complicate the WIPP marker discussion?

3.  This week, you will be turning in proposals for your final projects and describing how the humanities-based approaches you have selected will help you tell a particular story.  In order to practice thinking about how form can influence story, I’d like you to analyze three short films by Isao Hashimoto.  Each of these films engage with the subject of nuclear weapons production and testing using different visual, audio, and textual storytelling techniques.

  • 1945-1998 (Links to an external site.)
  • Overkilled (Links to an external site.)
  • The Names of Experiments (Links to an external site.)

Which of Hashimoto’s films did you find most effective?  Why did this film have a greater impact than the other two?  What did you feel while watching this film?  Cite specific details in your answer.  If you had to describe each film in three words, what would those three words be?

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