BRETT COLLEY - Artist/Curator/Educator
The Guardian of Fukushima's Animals
2018
Digital print
17 x 11 inches
$25
In 2011, the Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami knocked out the power supply and cooling systems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing three of the four reactors to meltdown, leaking radiation into the surrounding area. The government ordered an immediate mandatory evacuation of the local population, including former construction worker, Naoto Matsumura. Tens of thousands of people let their homes and animal companions behind, thinking that they would soon return collect them…but this never happened.

Determined not to leave the animals to die in this now desolated area, Matsumura - renamed by world media as “the guardian of Fukushima’s animals” - began to secure food for their survival. He disregarded concerns over his health, subjecting himself to complete contamination inside the 12-mile “exclusion zone”.