• Finished

Talk series #3
For visiting people you haven’t yet met

Public lecture: opening dialog

  • Art Project ,
  • Lecture / Symposium

For visiting people you haven’t yet met

If you visited a resident of the Shimo-Kajiro Housing Complex come spring, what would you ask him/her? How would you communicate yourself to them?

“Dialog” might feel like something that happens every day, but we believe it is also replete with discord and misunderstanding (despite some more felicitous examples). How do we establish a forum for understanding others, communicating ourselves, talking together on a variety of matters and sharing experiences?
We will explore the possibilities for dialog designed so that people who’ve just met each other appreciate the moment as they talk, and carry their experiences out into a new world.

Wataru Asada runs the “Radio Shimo-Kajiro” project in Shimo-Kajiro Housing Complex, a prefectural disaster-recovery public housing complex in Fukushima’s Iwaki City. We invite Asada to set up a forum for dialog on the basis of a visit to Shimo-Kajiro Housing Complex in the spring.

Shimo-Kajiro Housing Complex is a residential complex where people were evacuated because of the nuclear accident that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake disaster. People moved here from the towns of Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba and Namie close to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, where the accident happened. When you visit people who have to live with this huge, unexpected outrage, what can you say? How can you listen to them? Conversely, what possible meaning is there in making casual conversation and freely carving out relationships with individuals regardless of the context or basis of their lives? How about facing up to yourself and then visiting Shimo-Kajiro in that mindset?

Radio Shimo-Kajiro is a music and dialog-based community project rolling out in the prefectural Shimo-Kajiro Housing Complex in Iwaki City. Project organizers create radio shows with recordings of memories of the towns where people once lived, together with well-known music. The recordings are distributed and released as a CD to residents only. With a focus on this practice, project organizers are trying to provide a link between residents with differing positions, and a link to people’s hometowns. The project is ongoing, with the purpose of exchanging encounters with each person’s “self”, bypassing the keyword “reconstruction.”

About “Public lecture: opening dialog”
When we engage with political news through the media, despite the fact that politics is fundamental to supporting our everyday lives, we quickly get used to the careless way things are decided though we may wonder at it. Nor do we question the quantity or quality of the huge amount of information flying about online: it feels like we come to a convenient understanding of something from our partial understanding of each of the diverse fragments we are fed. We seem to be living in a very complex, fast-changing and emotionally-charged society.
The interrelationships and consequences of each event are skated over due to their complex connections and the speed of change; and the event itself gets forgotten in a short time. In spite of the daily occurrence of serious issues, disconcerting events, incidents and accidents, each are dealt with in a dismissive way as if they are fiction. A society that doesn’t present a clear and connected picture of itself could be called a “zone of emptiness.” Society as a whole dilutes reality, and the reality of the existence of each of us living in it is also diluted in the same way. It’s as if we’re drifting on an emptiness resembling the world of an amusement arcade or video game.
The great artists of our time whether consciously or unconsciously are compelled to seize the characteristics of our society and depict them in a variety of ways. Art is a very emotional act, but exceptional creative expression doesn’t allow the artist’s earnest quest to get swept away. We regard this group of work as shining a light on the present; and we want to get together with lots of people to start experiments with dialogue that attains the raw reality of life, unbound by analysis or existing values.

Developing this sort of forum for dialog together with the public will lead to the extension of creative possibility, something that tends to atrophy and shrink in Japanese society. If the existence of this dialog leads to a more diverse and abundant expansion of creativity, and in particular not to artistic expression aimed at self-verification or the desire for approval or recognition, we might also simultaneously extend various possibilities for surviving in the society of the future.

Planning: Miho Miyashita (NPO Artfull Action)


Wataru Asada (cultural activist and Director of Radio Shimo-Kajiro)




*Advance reservation not required.
*The program contents may be subject to change.


Artfull Action NPO
TEL: 050-3627-9531


CAFE an (Daini-Sato Building 1F 3-8-1 Honcho, Koganei City, Tokyo)


Organized by
Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Koganei City, Arts Council Tokyo (Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture), Artfull Action NPO