In 2012, this year's "Festival FUKUSHIMA!" aims to hold more than 100 synchronized events to be conducted in various places not only in Fukushima Prefecture but also in Japan and abroad during a 12-day-period from August 15 to 26. Although it is called "festival", any types of events are welcomed, for example, music events such as a small session held by a few people or a large-scale music festival with performances of many bands, various art events such as art exhibits, plays, movies, dance or other kinds of performances and other events including dialogues, talk sessions, symposiums or school-style workshops.
This year's theme is "Flag" and the title is "Flags Across Borders". We think many people have confronted over Fukushima and hoisted their own "flags". However, what will happen if we make all those flags flap at the same time? We imagine that numerous flags could transcend differences in stances, borders and national boundaries and eventually connect us.
What will happen by synchronized festivals and numerous flags? Let's just try.
"The future is in our hands" - this is our belief that has not changed since last year. We hope this idea spreads even further as you integrate your own thought into it.
We will hold an event with flags and an orchestra in an area around Station Street of Fukushima City from 3:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon (tentative plan). While hundreds or thousands of flags will be made from the 6000-square-meter "Fukushima Big Furoshiki (large wrapping fabric)" which was laid at the Village of Four Seasons(Shiki-no-Sato) last year, big furoshikis will be laid in many places of the city and numerous flags will be hoisted. Every flag will be different. Flags have no limits to a shape or a pattern. Any messages can be written on them. Or no message is also fine. The festival will start when more than 1000 people carrying flags fill shopping areas of Fukushima City, while colorful big furoshikis will decorate the streets. As for the orchestra composition, we will aim at an upgraded version of the "Orchestra FUKUSHIMA!" which played music at the Village of Four Seasons last year. (Target number of the participants : hundreds of people) Anyone can take part in the orchestra as long as he/she brings an object which can make sounds. We are planning to host a festival which anyone can take part in and everyone at the event venue will be a performer of, not a festival just to see.
Why don't you plan a festival by your own hands? During this period, anybody can host "Festival FUKUSHIMA!". Any format or scale is OK. It does not have to be a big festival. You can hold an event of your own idea such as events at a live house or a club, small parties with friends or talk sessions.
There are only three conditions : to use "FUKUSHIMA!" as a key word of your event, to hoist flags which will be used at the opening event on August 15 or those which you will make in some way and to make an entry into our website.
We will prepare a system for everyone to see how festivals in various places are going on on our website. We will welcome an entry at any time. You can hold an event before or after this period. People who are living in Fukushima, those who have moved from Fukushima or those who have no links with Fukushima, let's do something on this occasion. We will go around various places with "flags" during this period. We would like to hold a festival where each small event will be incorporated into an expansive event.
In this event, we will connect images of the Village of Four Seasons(Shiki-no-Sato) in Fukushima City and those of Suntory Hall in Tokyo where performance to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage will be held. At the Village of Four Seasons from early evening to sunset, while tens of thousands of illuminant objects will be lit in mushroom forms and hundreds of illuminant kite chains made by Ichiro Endo, an artist, and the Senju Flying Orchestra will fly in the air, more than 200 members of the "Orchestra FUKUSHIMA!" will play "Mushroom Requiem" composed by Yoshihide Otomo. The basic notes are composed only of F sound representing Fukushima and C sound representing John Cage. The images will be transmitted to Tokyo in real time through "DOMMUNE FUKUSHIMA!". At Suntory Hall, participants will play "Mushroom Requiem" simultaneously, accompanying to the performance in Fukushima reflected in the hall in a way to respond to the performance in Fukushima. It will be a part of "Musicircus" composed by John Cage. Furthermore, we are planning to hold synchronized worldwide performances using the transmitted images. A music work with multiple identities will go beyond various borders and resound all over the world from Fukushima.
*The date and venue of "Mushroom Requiem" has been decided but there may be a minor change in the program or schedule. We will finalize the details by the end of June and announce it.
How we consider the issue of radiation in an area around Fukushima Station and at the Village of Four Seasons
The radiation level of an outdoor area around Fukushima Station is approximately 0.5~1 μSv/h. It is several times to a little more than 10 times as high as that before the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. At the Village of Four Seasons, it is approximately, 0.2~0.6 μSv/h. They are never in a natural state. And it is true that there are pros and cons regarding a plan to gather many people in such places. We will not use a word "safe".
We think it is a fact that there are people who do not want to come here in such a state. We will never deny such opinion. We think if people fear something, they feel fearful whatever they are told by others and it is only natural for them to try to decrease risks. We don't think the most important issue is whether to come to Fukushima or not, because we wish a circle of people will expand beyond the physical place of Fukushima.
However, if you think of Fukushima, there is one thing we want you to remember : there are many people actually living there. And those people try to confront the reality after fully understanding such reality they are placed in. while they are leading their daily life. Whatever opinion you might have regarding the radiation issue, coming to Fukushima means to come to meet such people.