Pointing Through the Screen

Archiving, surveillance, and atomization in the wake of Japan’s 2011 triple disasters

Authored by: Joel Neville Anderson

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138685529
eBook ISBN: 9781315534374
Adobe ISBN:


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The natural and human-made disasters of 311 (the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Northeast Japan’s Tōhoku region on March 11, 2011) resulted in a proliferation of professional and amateur images documenting the catastrophe, and instigated a widespread investigation of the formal and social capacities of still and moving pictures. Surveying post-311 visual culture, this chapter argues for a transmedia approach to understanding social crisis amidst environmental collapse, by analyzing a diverse selection of projects in photography, film and video, performance, archiving, and community media to consider how disaster management reveals the mediation of self and environment in Japanese documentary.

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