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Confronting global disasters from afar

Creative responses to devastation
A view of the exhibit showing balloons from 'A Ritual for Memory.'
A view of the exhibit showing balloons from 'A Ritual for Memory.'
Photo: Darren Bennett

At the end of the fall semester, students of the class "Zones of Emergency: Art as Intervention – Creative Responses to Conflict & Crisis" gathered at The Cube in the MIT Media Lab complex to present their concepts for gifts to be sent to Minami Sanriku, a village in Japan devastated by the earthquake and the tsunami that followed last March.

The exhibition, "For Those Within From Those Abroad: A Gift for Minami Sanriku," created an atmosphere in stark contrast to the damage wrought by the tsunami. Costumes, toys and balloons filled the space; the sounds of children and images of people enjoying themselves on a summer day were superimposed on the viewers’ own memories of the tsunami.

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