APG News

After Hiroshima


Atomic Photographer/Artist elin o’Hara slavick has upcoming exhibitions of her work ‘After Hiroshima’.

Hiroshima > Nagasaki > Fukushima, Gallery G, Hiroshima, Japan, 2016
Making the Invisible Visible, Staniar Gallery, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 2017

ah_492055_origHer recent book: After Hiroshima was published by Daylight Books: with an essay by James Elkins

These photographic images of Hiroshima, Japan, are attempts to visually, poetically, and historically address the magnitude of what disappeared as a result of and what remains after the dropping of the A-bomb in 1945. They are images of loss and survival, fragments and lives, architecture and skin, surfaces and invisible things, like radiation. Exposure is at the core of this photographic project: exposure to radiation, to the sun, to light, to history, and exposures made from radiation, the sun, light and historical artifacts from the Peace Memorial Museum’s collection. After Hiroshima engages ethical seeing, visually registers warfare, and addresses the irreconcilable paradox of making visible the most barbaric as witness, artist, and viewer.

Nuclear Light


nuclear-light“Nuclear Light,” The Inventions of Light / Les Inventions de la Lumiere
School of Image Arts, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
February 24 – 26, 2016

Part of the bilingual conference, The Inventions of Light / Les Inventions de la Lumiere, “Nuclear Light” brings together a panel of APG members, Robert Del Tredici, Mary Kavanagh and Katy McCormick. Each panelist discusses the concept of nuclear light through the lens of their own work. Moderated by Blake Fitzpatrick.

This conference is the 6th edition of the Toronto/Montreal/Lille biennial of artistic exchange, and focuses on what light makes possible in the parallel realms of perception and creative imagination. The overall goal of the three-day conference is to explore the “inventions of light” collectively and to develop an interdisciplinary approach to the many inventions that light has generated in painting, photography, cinema, animation and digital arts.

Nuclear Light
Moderator: Blake Fitzpatrick (Ryerson University)

Fiat Lux: The Reign of Nuclear Light
Robert Del Tredici (independent artist)

Atomic Tourist: Trinity
Mary Kavanagh (University of Lethbridge)

Nagasaki, 11:02 – Land of the Second Sun
Katy McCormick

Through Post-Atomic Eyes

Postcard-1024x683Through Post-Atomic Eyes brings together an interdisciplinary group of artists and scholars to explore the complex legacy of the atomic age in contemporary art and culture. In what ways do photography and other lens-based art practices shed light on this legacy in the 21st century, and how has atomic culture shaped contemporary intersections of photography, nuclear industries, and military techno-cultures? Join us as we explore some of the most urgent issues of our time, from climate change and the Anthropocene to surveillance culture and the advent of drone warfare, through a post-atomic lens.

Through Post-Atomic Eyes is scheduled to coincide with John O’Brian’s groundbreaking exhibition, Camera Atomica, the first substantial exhibition of nuclear photography to encompass the postwar period from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the meltdown at Fukushima in 2011. Now on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario (until November 15, 2015).

October 23-25, 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

From Trinity to Hiroshima and Beyond

From Trinity to Hiroshima and Beyond: the Nuclear Age Through the Eyes of the Atomic Photographers Guild


On July 16, 1945, the first test of the atomic bomb (Trinity Test) was conducted in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Twenty-one days after that on August 6th, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. Seventy years has passed since then.

From October 6-16, the Atomic Photographers Guild will have an exhibition in the Hiroshima Bank Building, a robust building in the hypo-center that survived the a-bomb. The Bank is now an Arts Center with minimal funding.

We will exhibit 50 selected photos of a variety of subjects ranging from nuclear facilities to Hibakusha. All the photos are selected by the APG, an organisation of photographers from America, Canada, Germany, Australia and Japan.

We also show another 40 works called Nuclear Enchantment by Patrick Nagatani, a Japanaese American and member of the Guild. Patrick has his origins in Hiroshima. His brother Scott, a musician from Los Angeles, will come to wish for peace by playing an atomic-bombed piano.

Another project is to make a new “Trinity Site Monument @ Hiroshima 2015” – visitors to the exhibition will be asked to take part in erecting the monument. Also, there will be a slide show projected on a screen made of recycled paper cranes. We want to send a message of peace from Hiroshima, city of International Peace Culture.

October 6 – 15
Old Bank of Japan, Hiroshima Branch


Camera Atomica: Art Gallery of Ontario

Several members of the Atomic Photographers Guild are a part of “Camera Atomica” at the Art Gallery of Ontario from July 8 – November 15, 2015.

P-10-Camera-Atomica-660Photographs have played a crucial role in shaping perceptions of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Camera Atomica — guest-curated by writer, curator and art historian John O’Brian — is the first substantial exhibition of nuclear photography to encompass the entire postwar period from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 to the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011.


The election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980 accompanied an intensification of the Cold War, and artists and photographers responded in large numbers to the escalating risk of a nuclear confrontation. The politics of the Cold War also coincided with a cultural debate around photography and its claims to represent what is “true” or “real.” Much post-1980 nuclear photography reflects altered understandings of the limitations of photography and the dangers of the nuclear arms race.

Camera Atomica addresses pressing issues in the post-war era – nuclear weapons proliferation, toxic waste disposal and climate change – as they are represented in photography. Organized thematically, it brings together vintage and contemporary photographs, press and fine arts photographs, scientific and touristic images and advertisements and propaganda from a wide range of sources. A discussion room, designed to evoke a fallout shelter, concludes the exhibition, replete with posters, articles and details about local engagement with atomic energy.

Beginning with Wilhelm Röntgen’s discovery of the X-ray in 1895, the exhibition includes more than 200 works, including an installation by Ken + Julia Yonetani, Ken Domon and Shomei Tomatsu’s photographs of hibakusha (survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki), David McMillan’s photographs at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and Sandy Skoglund’s darkly humorous Radioactive Cats, as well as works by Nancy Burson, Edward Burtynsky, Philippe Chancel, Carol Condé and Karl Beveridge, Bruce Conner, Robert Del Tredici, Carole Gallagher, Blake Fitzpatrick, Kenji Higuchi, Michael Light, Dean Loomis, Richard Misrach, Ishiuchi Miyako, Barbara Norfleet, Andrea Pinheiro, Shimpei Takeda, Donald Weber, Garry Winogrand and official U.S. Army and press photographs from the AGO’s collection. Also featured is a recently acquired work by James Welling, from his series The Glass House.

This exhibition is included with general admission.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Camera Atomica catalogue cover

A 304-page soft-cover catalogue accompanies the exhibition and will be for sale in shopAGO. Co-published by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Black Dog Press, Camera Atomica includes more than 250 illustrations as well as essays by John O’Brian, Hiromitsu Toyosaki, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Blake Fitzpatrick, Susan Schuppli, Iain Boal, Gene Ray and Douglas Coupland

Atomic Amnesia: photographs and nuclear memory

Atomic photographer, Jessie Boylan (Australia), has just had her essay ‘Atomic Amnesia: photographs and nuclear memory’ published in the Journal of Global Change, Peace and Security. This paper addresses the ways in which photography can illuminate that which is unfathomable, such as nuclear catastrophe. It discusses how chronicling the nuclear era through art can allow us to break free of our atomic amnesia and urge us to imagine possible alternative futures free of nuclear disaster. It examines the ways in which members of the Atomic Photographers Guild have sharply focused on all aspects of the nuclear age and its fallout.

Link: Atomic Amnesia: photographs and nuclear memory


American Ground Zero on Counterpunch’s best 100 Non-Fiction Books of the 20th Century (and Beyond)

Atomic Photographer Carole Gallagher has made Counterpunch’s best 100 Non-Fiction books of the 20th century list with her book American Ground Zero, The Secret Nuclear War

See the list here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/04/100-best-non-fiction-books-of-the-20th-century-and-beyond-in-english/


American Ground Zero book cover


As the clock clicked down on the arrival of the new millennium, Alex and I were bemused at the spate of “100 best of the century lists” pouring forth from the New York Times, the New Yorker, Salon, the Guardian and other liberal publications. The lists were predictable and not many of the entries remained on our groaning shelves. So we decided to compile our own catalogue of the best books written in English and, later translated into English, during the 20th Century. We spent weeks whittling it down to roughly 100 titles for each. These became reading lists for like-minded CounterPunchers and proved two of the most popular pieces we’d ever run on the website, even pricking the interest of many librarians who were forced to confront the gaps in their own collections.

Over the decade, those pages were up on the site they attracted well-over two million unique visitors. Then disaster struck. During the Great Transformation of the CounterPunch website to a Word Press platform, those lists were mangled beyond recognition. I remember calling Alex and telling him to cautiously look at the wreckage. He clicked on the page, gasped and even sniffled a bit. “It’s the burning of the Alex…andria library all over again!” he quipped. Neither of us had the energy to recreate the lost pages.

Since then we’ve received many pleas to resurrect those lists, the most recent coming from an old pal of ours whose book had earned a spot in the top 100. Finally, I relented.  I spent the last couple of weeks reviewing the entries and some old email exchanges with Alex about books that we both admired, which had been published in the intervening years. So we now present once again our 100 best non-fiction books published in English in the 20th century (with a few important additions), along with the introduction we wrote for our book Serpents in the Garden. (The translated books will follow.)

Jeffrey St. Clair


Atomic Photographer James Lerager is part of an exhibition on at BC Space in Laguna Beach, CA, called “SILENT BUT DEADLY : CHERNOBYL-FUKUSHIMA-SAN ONOFRE”.

James Lerager has been photographing and documenting nuclear sites since the 1980s. His work has been widely exhibited and published. He is the photographer / author of the book “In the Shadow of the Cloud: Photographs & Histories of America’s Atomic Veterans” and several monographs. James Lerager’s forthcoming book – a global perspective on the human and environmental consequences of the nuclear age – is currently in preparation.

sanonofreWhen San Onofre’s nuclear plant closed last summer, many breathed a sigh of relief. Yet San Onofre still requires a multi-decade ‘decommissioning,’ with radioactive fuel and components carted away to uncertain disposal, at further expense measured in hundreds of millions of dollars. Who profits and who pays is in dispute.

When the Chernobyl reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, the Soviet government initially kept it secret. Some 600,000 workers and soldiers were ordered to build the now crumbling Sarcophagus. Estimates of excess Chernobyl cancers range into the 100s of thousands, and the region will remain contaminated for 100s of years.

When the Fukushima nuclear power plant was overwhelmed by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011, three reactors melted down and Japan’s Prime Minister considered ordering the evacuation of Tokyo, which could have displaced tens of millions of people.

Some 400 commercial nuclear power reactors are operational around the world, 100 of them in the United States. The true costs of the nuclear era are largely unknown and generally suppressed. The unanswered question is whether or not we will continue to allow our leaders to drag us along a path toward a permanent nuclear dependency, with all its uncertainty and risks.

Dates: Febuary 25 – April 26, 2014

Artist’s Reception : Thursday Feb 27 : 7 pm

 : James Lerager : Jun Hori : Kei Kobayashi
: Ed Heckerman : Ron Azevedo

Film Screening : March 11 : Metamorphosis by Jun Hori : 7 pm
(3rd Anniversary of the 2011 Earthquake & Tsunami)

See more about this show here.

Nuclear photography: Making the invisible visible

Nuclear photography: Making the invisible visible
Carole Gallagher

Published in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists November/December 2013 vol. 69 no. 6 42-46

In this essay, the author explores whether nuclear catastrophe is beyond the reach of art. A documentary photographer, she reflects on her own work capturing the lives of those who lived downwind of the nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site in the United States. Many years after being immersed in the project for a decade, and documenting the effects of 1,000 nuclear devices that had exploded above this population, the author finally arrives at the answer to her question.

American Ground Zero cancer Mormon Nevada nuclear test photography

When the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, two types of photographs captured this gripping moment: those that showed a mushroom cloud on the horizon, and those that depicted devastated cities and the many survivors who had been burned beyond recognition. From that year until today, 125,000 nuclear warheads have been constructed, and nine countries have nuclear weapon capability (Kristensen and Norris, 2013). So when thinking about art and destruction, it might be fair to ask: Is art at all effective in reminding the world of the destructive impulses that lead to war, and is art effective in subduing humanity’s urge—and possibly need—to fight wars? The answer, at least in terms of art in the nuclear age, is possibly no. Art, when produced at a distance—from an artist studio or loft, say—cannot stop nuclear proliferation. It cannot stop a war.

Read the rest of the essay here.

Dan Budnik: Marching To The Freedom Dream

News from Dan Budnik, Atomic Photographer

Dear friends and colleagues,Less than a month ago the Kickstarter campaign raised £ 10,000, which guaranteed the initial printing costs for the publication of my Civil Rights book,Marching To The Freedom Dream, to be published by Trolley Books in the Spring of 2014. It will consist of my comprehensive editing of three seminal marches that I photographed between 1958 and 1963.

August 28th of this year was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Commemorating this event, TIME magazine did a special double issue featuring my photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the cover, with an additional four spreads inside this collector’s issue. On the same day Trolley Books started it’s Kickstarter campaign in London with an opening exhibition with my photographs of the three marches in their gallery.

I would like to thank all who contributed to make the first financial goal a swift reality. Now we are in the final week of the Kickstarter campaign and we are appealing to those who may want to contribute towards the total costs of £ 30,000 for a book that honors Dr. King’s non-violent legacy – also, I am very proud that none of my photographs contain any overt violence.My initial contribution of two original 8×10 inch gelatin silver prints of the TIME cover image were quickly sold, now in this last week we have decided to add several new attractive options for pledging. Among those are the limited edition of the book, the special signed cover of TIME magazine and two additional 8×10 inch gelatin silver images: Coretta Scott King and MLK, Jr. holding hands, and Rev. Frederick Shuttlesworth eulogizing the neo-martyr Jimmy Lee Jackson. Please consult the Kickstarter website for all existing options.
This book has been a dream of mine for many years. Now this dream is fast becoming a reality and it will be quite wonderful to see a beautiful publication that honors the leaders and “foot soldiers” who served and sacrificed to make the Civil Rights movement a global role model for all of mankind’s oppressed people. I thank you for your involvement and financial support.
With my regard and all good wishes,
Dan Budnik