Texas University Hosts Hiroshima and Nagasaki Graphic Photo Exhibition


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A photographic exhibit depicting the devastation caused by the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is currently being held at a university in Texas, a quarter of a century after a prominent museum canceled its initial plans for exhibiting artifacts amid strong opposition from veteran groups.

The exhibition, titled “Flash of Light, Wall of Fire”, was organized by the University of Texas at Austin in cooperation with the Anti-Nuclear Photographers’ Movement of Japan, a group of Japanese photographers working to convey the horrors nuclear weapons for future generations.

The majority of the 69 photographs, most of which are shown for the first time in the United States, clearly show the devastation of the scorched earth “under the mushroom cloud”. Bones are even shown lining the schoolyard of an elementary school near the hypocenter.

“I couldn’t stop crying. I could not. I could feel the tears flow. It is very moving. And that’s what we have to see, ”said Tiffany Thomas, 50, a history student at the University of Louisiana who visited the exhibit.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington originally planned to hold an exhibit on atomic bombing to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, but abandoned the plan a few months earlier due to strong criticism. groups of veterans who were overly sympathetic to Japan and insulting American troops.

“I think if we had done this exhibit in 1995 we would have a lot of problems, a lot of problems, but time has obviously passed and generations have died,” said Don Carleton, 74, executive director of the Briscoe Center. for American History at the University of Texas.

As opposition from former soldiers who fought in the Pacific War faded over time, Carleton admitted he still had reservations about hosting the exhibit.

But after much discussion, he felt it was worth doing as it would serve as a teaching tool for the younger generations who now have little opportunity to learn more about war and what it is about. ‘a nuclear weapon could do to people when it is dropped.

Regarding the view still held by some that dropping the atomic bombs was the right decision, Carleton said he did not intend to engage in this debate.

In contrast, Ben Wright, a 39-year-old PhD student at the University of Texas and a member of the project team, pointed out that photos from Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that the use of nuclear weapons can never be considered “necessary”. again.

“It shouldn’t happen again. We can all agree on that. There is no controversy, ”he said.

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