Nuclear Remembrance Day 2015

Event has been POSTPONED due to inclement weather and the closing of the Jones Center. Watch for announcements for rescheduling.

Pride

 

Poem by Enid High School’s Darenton C. Dribo. Used by permission.

Click image to enlarge.

From 1946-1958 the United States conducted 67 nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands. The fallout from those tests, particularly the March 1, 1954, Bravo detonation, sent irradiated coral dust throughout populated atolls. As a result, many within the Marshallese community suffer from health-related effects (high rates of cancer and diabetes) and displacement due to forced relocation from contaminated lands. Nuclear Remembrance Day is commemorated around the world to reflect and honor victims and survivors.

Nuclear Remembrance Day 2015 will be commemorated at the chapel in the Jones Center for Families on Feb. 28th., 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM (Main event begins at 2:00 PM)

the event, organized by the 4 Atolls and hosted by MEI, is FREE and the public is invited

Main ceremony begins at 2:00, includes speakers and performances

Speakers include:  R.M.I. Consul General Carmen Chong-Gum;  Neisen Laukon, Rongelapese survivor; MEI Co-Founder April L. Brown, Ph.D.

12:00 film screening, Nuclear Savage

MEI will screen the award-winning film Nuclear Savage, by Adam Horowitz

About the film:  ‘Nuclear Savage’ is a heartbreaking and intimate ethnographic portrait of Pacific Islanders struggling for dignity and survival after decades of intentional radiation poisoning at the hands of the American government. Relying on recently declassified U.S. government documents,devastating survivor testimony, and incredible unseen archival footage, this story reveals how U.S. scientists turned a Pacific paradise into a radioactive hell. Marshall islanders were used as human guinea pigs for three decades to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings with devastating results. Nuclear Savage is a shocking tale that pierces the heart of our democratic principles.

 

MEI will also host the Marshallese Cultural Workshop I: Voice & Music [for high school and college students; due to limited seating, event is by invitation only]

Marshallese culture and history has, and continues to be, shared through oral transmission. The activities of “talking stories” (bwebwenato) and singing together are central to upholding Marshallese communal life and intergenerational communication. In recent history, there have been major events that altered Marshallese ways of living together and impacted Marshallese abilities to share their stories, such as US nuclear testing (1946-1958). The nuclear testing forced some Marshallese from their lands and separated communities. Away from their land, stories and songs became even more important in maintaining culture, but the radiation from the tests affected the health and voices of many Marshallese. Sometimes, we can hear the physical effects of radiation exposure in the voices of Marshallese storytellers and singers: the sound of the voice or the inability to produce sound.

Drawing from her own research, the foundational work of scholars such as Holly Barker and Barbara Rose Johnston, and the testimonials of Marshallese who know firsthand the importance of “having a voice” in the political world and also for keeping their culture alive and histories heard, Dr. Jessica Schwartz, Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, will lead a workshop that shares Marshallese stories and songs about the consequences of nuclear testing. This workshop encourages students to think critically about the concept and term “voice” across different cultures and make surprising connections between the human voice and our environment.

 

The fallout pattern of Bravo. Though the United States only officially recognizes four atolls as having been subjected to fallout from Bravo, a 1973 DOE report says the fallout likely reached 13 atolls.

The fallout pattern of Bravo. Though the United States only officially recognizes four atolls as having been subjected to fallout from Bravo, a 1973 DOE report says the fallout likely reached 13 atolls.

 

Rongelapese women sing during Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014