Dr. Noriko Manabe
“Cyberspace, music, and participation in the Japanese antinuclear movement"
Friday, March 4, 4pm, Hale 230
In the weeks following the triple disaster of March 11, 2011 in Northern Japan, an atmosphere of “self-restraint” made residents feel unable to talk freely about radiation and nuclear power. The openness, mobile accessibility, and potential anonymity of the internet helped Japanese citizens to overcome the spiral of silence and enabled them to disseminate information, discuss the issues, and mobilize. Cyberspace became a depository for music that would otherwise be censored (e.g., Saitō Kazuyoshi’s “It Was Always a Lie”) or subjected to copyright payments, allowing creative expression by anonymous citizens. Using video, this music informs residents about antinuclear arguments and protest activities. Music in cyberspace facilitates political participation on- and off-line, and gives a second life to street protests which are reinterpreted in the cyberspace archive.