Photo exhibition „Drowning in Nuclear Greed“ about the consequences of uranium mining in Jadugoda in Northeast India at the Cinematheque of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Modern Art Museum (MAM Rio), May 25 to June 2, 2019
The International Uranium Film Festival proudly presents for the second time in Rio de Janeiro the extraordinary work of Indian photographer Ashish Birulee on uranium mining and the consequences for the Adivasi People in Jadugoda, Jharkhand.
Ashish Birulee himself was born in Jadugoda, living there with the daily risk of radiation. "I saw my own relatives die of radiation“, he stated. His grandfather was an uranium miner, like many Adivasi in Jadugoda. Ashish: „Being a Ho tribal resident of Jadugoda I have personally experienced the hazardous effects of radiation on our region, turning it into another Hiroshima of sorts. Genetic deformities and various kinds of cancers have become very common in the region. My very own grandparents died of lung cancer. The tragedy continues as people still dwell there and the consequences are far more serious than before.“
His father Ghanshyam Birulee was the first to realize the horrible effects of radiation in Jadugoda and started pondering upon the problems. He led a struggle against radiation and founded in 1998 the Jharkhandi Organization Against Radiation (JOAR) fighting for the compensation and for decommissioning of the uranium mines in Jharkhand.
JOAR was the first organization to raise a voice against uranium mining in India and for that in 2004 JOAR was honored with the prestigious Nuclear Free Future Award. With his photographic work Ashish Birulee is following the big footsteps of his father.
„I have felt the pain and sorrow that the people of my region", Ashish says, „bear - the regret of being born in Jadugoda, fear of living in a radiation zone and a desire, wish and hope for relief. I know I could be the next victim, the thought frightens me. The pain, sorrow and fear that we are facing in Jadugoda should not happen with any person in any corner of the world. I think it’s time we said enough is enough. The governments’ false pride in being nuclear powers is costing many ordinary citizens’ right to lead a normal life.“
„It is not just explosion of nuclear bombs and accidents at nuclear plants caused radiation but mining of uranium and processing it equally dangerous. We have succeeded in banning nuclear weapons but not uranium mining. I believe the roots cause of these devastation is uranium mining and people have to seriously ponder and acknowledge the problems. The radiation effected people of Jadugoda are the examples, if these examples are not enough to convince a majority in power then I believe they are stereotype towards the Adivasis.“
The photo exhibition in Rio de Janeiro is composed of 25 black and white photos.
Links to more information about Ashish Birulee and his work.
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