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Inhabitat Talks to Lisa Katayama About ‘We Are All Radioactive’: a Crowdfunded Video Series About Surfers Rebuilding Japan
Posted By Yuka Yoneda On August 31, 2013 @ 9:00 am In Architecture,Environment,Interviews,Water Issues | No Comments
You might know Lisa Katayama from her articles on Popular Science, Wired and Fast Company - or perhaps she taught you "everything you ever wanted to know about the birth city of Godzilla, Gundam, all-you-can-eat shabu shabu and panty vending machines" on her blog TokyoMango. It's clear that Katayama has a true passion for Japan, where she spent the first 18 years of her life, so when disaster hit the country last March, she knew she couldn't just stand idly by. Her desire to do something led her to create We Are All Radioactive, an online episodic documentary series that follows the lives of surfers and fishermen as they work to rebuild small coastal towns that were affected by the tsunami. The series, produced with TED film director Jason Wishnow, is entirely crowdfunded, meaning that it's up to you to keep new episodes rolling out. We recently spoke to Lisa about why she decided to start We Are All Radioactive, what we can expect to see in the latest episode, and how funders can actually influence what is shown in coming episodes - choose-your-own-adventure-style. Read on to learn more!
Lisa: I grew up in Japan, and my family and friends still live there — so the earthquake was really shocking to me. My first instinct was to fly back and “help” somehow — then I realized that the best way I could contribute to post-earthquake Japan was to tell the human stories behind the disaster. A friend of me and Jason’s told us about Motoyoshi, so we went out there last June to meet everyone. We didn’t really have a story or agenda in mind, but we brought a camera and a voice recorder and started to shoot interviews as we got to know the residents.
Lisa: One of the perks on our IndieGoGo campaign  is “choose your own adventure” — for $500, you get to propose ideas to the directors about what direction a future episode should go in, or what questions you want answered through the film.
Lisa: When we went, the carpenters were salvaging shingles from the roof of a house that had been destroyed by the tsunami. It was kind of an anomaly because all of the houses on the ocean side of the street were fine in this one section of town – just this one house was hit badly. It was like the wave jumped over all the other houses and just landed here. It was a classic tiled Japanese roof and the residents had intel that it was going to be torn down and taken to the dumpsters within a week. They were reclaiming the roof tiles to use on the roof of the beer garden.
The AfH team also used 100 year old wood beams, timber, and tiles also salvaged from the rubble to make the outdoor deck.
Lisa: I spent the first 18 years of my life in Japan, but never ever had the chance to hang out with Japanese fishermen. They are amazingly resilient and funny. I was also reminded of how genuine and caring Japanese people really are. There’s a real selfless compassion there that you don’t see as pervasively in the US.
Lisa: We are actively fundraising online so we can release the next few episodes and finish our first season! Please visit our IndieGoGo campaign page  to donate. We’ll also be posting additional photos and footage on our Facebook page .
If you want to see (and influence) how the story unfolds, don’t forget to visit IndieGogo  to get your donation in.
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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/we-talk-to-lisa-katayama-about-we-are-all-radioactive-a-crowdfunded-video-series-about-surfers-rebuilding-japan/
URLs in this post:
 IndieGoGo campaign: http://www.indiegogo.com/weareallradioactive
 check it out themselves: http://weareallradioactive.com/
 our Facebook page: http://vimeo.com/channels/weareallradioactive
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