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Open Call : Working group #2 "earthquake/nuclear power plant disasters"


Working Group #1: Earthquake and Nuclear Power Plant Disasters, formed in May, 2011, has successfully carried out several projects for the Great Tohoku Disaster and the ongoing Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. Their activities include: supporting the Onagawa Curry Project, a small business in the disaster area; helping evacuees who have relocated to Kyoto; and organizing a study group, which aims to question the foundation of our society, which created the nuclear disaster.

While WG #1 is ending its one-year term, Social Kitchen is now looking for WG #2 participants.

With the understanding that Kansai is far away from the Tohoku region, and materials as well as technique necessary for rebuilding efforts have been shifting, WG #2 is also expected to carry out actions both directly and indirectly related to the Great Tohoku Disaster and the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. WG #2 is open to anyone.


Project themes:
WG #2 members will democratically decide what to do at their meetings, but here are some possible themes to consider. Please also refer to WG #1's completed projects.

- Election exhibition
WG #1 organized an exhibition called “Kyoto Mayoral Election” in February 2012. The exhibition provided critical and essential information for constituents to choose a mayoral candidate while demonstrating that a loose network of citizens can actively participate in the making of democracy. That said, this format involving an exhibition on local elections or other socially or politically charged issues has more potential to grow, and could be a format for WG #2 to develop.

- Demonstration
Japan has witnessed public demonstrations springing up all over the country since the disaster. Still, the biggest march organized in Kyoto after March 11 only drew about 5,000 people. This brings up some questions. Does this small turn out mean that people are hesitant to be considered activists? Does employing fashionable and cool approaches attract more people, including first-timers? Do we need to learn how to act freely and spontaneously in public spaces? What does marching with many people in a public space mean in the first place, and what can it accomplish? With these questions in mind, WG #2 could organize a demonstration in the coming year.

■ Program: Discuss ideas as a group and decide on the frequency of meetings and activities.
■ Period of WG #2: one year
■ Venues: Social Kitchen and other places
■ Requirements to participate: no specific requirements
■ How to participate: We will have our first meeting on May 16, 2012.
Please e-mail info(at) if you're interested.

What is a Working Group?
We at Social Kitchen are currently conducting a Working Group. By Working Group, we mean a group where members gather to discuss different subjects, come up with ideas and plans, and put them into practice. This group won't just plan one-off events but rather, the members will meet on a weekly or biweekly basis and, over the course of a year, steadily continue to work on projects. Members will be under no obligation to participate and will be able to leave the group at any stage. Staff members of Social Kitchen and its specialist supporters will offer advice and guidance from the sidelines.

From the very beginning, Social Kitchen was intended to be a place where people could gather freely and share their ideas. Those who used Social Kitchen would also be able to interact and influence each other, at the same time giving voice to wonderfully complex, socially-responsible ideas. It is with this goal in mind that we think of Social Kitchen as a kind of cultural and social community center for the twenty-first century.

The model for the Working Group is the structure of a German art center called NGBK. Though it's an art center, it doesn't employ any full-time curators. The members of NGBK conceive and organize art exhibitions a few times a year. Each year four or five groups conduct research and hold meetings with the intention of curating art exhibitions in the following year. Specialists (for example art historians and critics) and art center staff act in an advisory capacity.

English text translated by Takaaki Yamane and Sandra Stevens, Alex Enscoe