This video by the art collective Chim↑Pom is part of the exhibition at the Baron Gallery in Oberlin, opening on March 1. It was originally shown in May 2011 as part of an exhibit at Mujin-to Productions called Real Times. In an interview on Frontline, Ryutaro Ushiro described how the film came to be made:
Many of the pieces we exhibited are constructed from going there or gathering materials from there or taking pictures in Fukushima. [Some] members [of Chim↑Pom] had spent a while up there, volunteering for a month, [and they] had taken photographs…. But just exhibiting photographs made our work not too dissimilar from the work of the media….
There are [three] pieces that we actually filmed in Fukushima. We went to Soma, which is about 50 kilometers from the plant, and an area where not many volunteers are going. So there are lots of young people who have been struck by the disaster, and because volunteers won’t go near the town, these young people have not only had to live through the tsunami but are doing their own rescue and relief efforts. They have a lot to do. They have to volunteer; they’re the ones heading up the reconstruction.
So we got together with them to create the 100 Cheers. We ad-libbed and cheered based on whatever we felt at the time, starting with “Here we go!” to “We’re going to rebuild!,” to there were things about radiation, to “I want a girlfriend!” to “I want a car!” Anything was OK. From: interview with Ryutaro Ushiro, Frontline: the Atomic Artists, PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/the-atomic-artists/art-cannot-be-powerless/
As the extent of the crisis at Fukushima Daichi became more apparent, Chim↑Pom acted quickly with an update to the famous mural of Nagasaki and Hiroshima by Taro Okamoto. They called this project, Level Seven: the Myth of Tomorrow.
The members of the collective: Ellie, Ryuta Ushiro, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Toshinori Mizuno, Motomu Inaoka