On March 11 2011, a tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant in Japan, leading to a nuclear meltdown that contaminated over 25,000 hectares of farmland. The current decontamination methods produce huge amounts of radioactive waste and make farming near to impossible, however, a team of scientists have recently developed a new, sustainable method that will allow farmers to grow perfectly safe rice again. Despite this, the local people will not buy the rice due to the stigma surrounding it, choosing not to believe the scientific breakthrough.
To help people understand, Munich-based studio Moby Digg worked with agricultural science company METER and communication agency Serviceplan to create Made in Fukushima, a book made out of rice straw from the decontaminated fields. It tells the story of the region, the nuclear disaster and the resulting decontamination process through photography, interviews and data visualisation.
The book needed to be digestible, Moby Digg explains: “We used basic forms: the grid is always square and all the data points are circles in different sizes. This very reduced visual language really focuses the attention on what’s important.” The infographics break down the complex scientific data into simple charts that don’t require extensive background knowledge of the subject to understand.
The photography, by Nick Frank, captures the lives of the local farmers by taking the reader on a journey from March 11 2011 to the present day.
Photography: Nick Frank