Different Scales, Non-Corresponding Words, Hidden Actors, Imbroglios

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Contributed date

July 21, 2018 - 10:17pm

Critical Commentary

Asian and African Area Studies No.13-2 (February, 2014): 148-173

Author: Yasushi Uchiyamada

Abstract: This is an attempt to follow and describe from the perspective of Simondonian ontogenesis the emerging imbroglios constituted interactively by leaking radioactive materials, inorganic substances, organisms, institutions, interests and words in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. People attempt to control such irreclaimable imbroglios, at least at the level of political discourse fortified with technical symbols: imbroglios are artificially dissected and are placed in separate domains, premised on different scales. The one constituted with political language, by nature, cannot speak for those formed at the levels of molecules, organisms and eco-systems. Despite Prime Minister Abe’s assertion that “the situation is under control,” the radioactive water continues to leak into the soil and into the ocean. Words that re-present the situation do not correspond with what is happening “out there.” A fisherman I met in Hisanohama was trying to promote the safety of fish caught off the coast. “Fish from Fukushima are safe to eat.” Yet, he wouldn’t let his son eat those very fish. Agricultural Cooperatives and Fukushima City use locally produced rice in school lunches in order to send a positive signal to consumers. “Rice from Fukushima is safe to eat.” Parents of small children in Fukushima, however, do not necessarily trust the basis of the safely standards for radiation protection. I describe various attempts by non-experts and nonconforming experts to follow the imbroglios of hidden actors in the vicinity of nuclear power plants. Following the imbroglios is a task of extreme difficulty. The essay ends with an imagined conversation on the method with Akira Adachi.





Cite as

Yasushi Uchiyamada, "Different Scales, Non-Corresponding Words, Hidden Actors, Imbroglios", contributed by Yoko Taguchi, STS Infrastructures, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 12 August 2018, accessed 23 March 2023. https://stsinfrastructures.org/content/different-scales-non-corresponding-words-hidden-actors-imbroglios