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From You A Hundred Years Ago

Part 2 Project 2022
Gabriel Choon Wong Yen
National University of Singapore | Singapore
Nuclear experiments conducted by the U.S. on the Marshall Islands during the Cold War resulted in the displacement of the inhabitants of Runit and Bikini Island for the next 24,000 years.

Although outraged by the overkill of such experiments in their homes, the Marshallese are silenced as they remain bound by the Compact of Free Association which provides for economic and security benefits to the nation in exchange for immunity against any litigation against the U.S. government.

The Marshallese remain straddled between the radioactive baggage of their nuclear legacy and their fate as the first climate refugees.
Utilising Freud’s concept of the Death Drive, the thesis proposes the introduction of dark tourism as a passive re-containment program to deal with the leaking radioactive tomb in Runit island to capture nuances of trauma, establishing in a less-directed way of handing down the inheritance of Marshall Island’s tragedy to future generations.

The navigation of the radioactive landscapes through interfaces and safety protocols revisits the traumatic nuclear legacy of Marshall Islands, turning trauma into a tool of hope and survival for the Marshallese, giving them bargaining power in ensuring the accountability and responsibility of the U.S.

Gabriel Choon Wong Yen


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