irradiated cities reviewed at decomP

At decomP magazine, Spencer Dew explores the far-reaching implications of Mariko Nagai’s irradiated cities

Nuclear power is only one form of deadly power under examination in this book, which looks, too, at power and power imbalance on global and local levels, from the capitalist interests in locating a power plant in a certain, cash-thirsty town to the nationalist interests that see in irradiated rocks a potential leveling force. We are made to see “power” as something invisible, taken-for-granted and recklessly consumed, with even those citizens who organize for anti-nuclear protests doing so via text messages sent using electricity, dependent upon and addicted to a vast grid of infrastructure. Finally, Nagai confronts the various powers which control or silence or otherwise shape narratives, from censorship to the equally-obfuscating platitude of “never again,” but also the sort of writing so artfully eschewed here, where words lessen the impact and afterlife of these human-designed, human-orchestrated horrors. This is an urgent book, one that will leave readers deeply—and needfully—unsettled.

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