Friday, July 17, 2009

Nuclear explosion at Hiroshima.Image via Wikipedia

Opeyemi Parham was scheduled to interview Sage Maurer on July 9, but Sage was unable to attend and Opeyemi was able to book Emily Lawrence as her guest.
Opeyemi has been the health and wellness correspondent for Local Bias and while the work Emily engages in is not directly health related, Opeyemi conducted a great interview.
I asked Emily if she would send me a blurb to post on this site, so here it is:

Proud of the Cloud: Cultural Fallout in Atomic America
What happens when your high school mascot becomes the shorthand for Armageddon?

Richland, WA (population 38,708) sprang up in 1943 under the auspices of the Manhattan project, producing the plutonium for Fat Man, the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. As a government town during World War II and the site for plutonium production during the Cold War arms race, isolated Richland played a large part in the defense industry from the 40s through the 80s.

In 1943, the local high school mascot was the Beaver.

In 1945, it was the Bomber.

And by 1988, the Bomber was an atomic mushroom cloud.

This is the complicated tale of that mascot—and a peace meeting between Richland Bombers and Japanese Atomic holocaust survivors.

Proud of the Cloud is the story of evolving cultural memory--and what happens when the very lifeblood of your community becomes vilified by the world.

Filmmaker Emily Lawrence is currently editing Proud of the Cloud in the Berkshires, and will be scheduling periodic rough-cut showing in the upcoming months. For showing information and production updates, please visit or email Proud of the Cloud premieres in 2010.
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