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Grandchildren of Hiroshima

The Grandchildren of Hiroshima is an oral history and performance project, rooted in interviews between local children in Hiroshima and survivors who were the children’s age when the bomb was dropped.

In 2011, we did a similar project - The Grandchildren of the Blitz - in which we drew upon the stories and experiences of elders that survived the Blitz to create an intergenerational, community production. The project was a success, to the delight of everyone involved, and we wanted to use the experiences of this project to undertake a parallel project in Hiroshima.

Like its predecessor, The Grandchildren of Hiroshima is rooted in interviews between children in Hiroshima and survivors of the Atomic bombing of the city in 1945; the children will be the same age as the elders were when they lived through the bomb.  Our aspiration is that the project will culminate in an intergenerational, community performance in Japan in August 2015, to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima.  

Most of the project activity so far has happened in Japan  - from running training workshops for children in interviewing skills, to the children gathering over 20 stories from survivors, to creative workshops that look at ways in which theatre could do justice to some of the stories. London Bubble has formed creative partnerships with Setagaya Public Theatre in Tokyo, the Hiroshima Peace  Museum, Hiroshima University and the Aster Plaza Theatre in Hiroshima were the performance will be presents. 

London Bubble have identified three young and upcoming Japanese theatre makers who will develop the project alongside UK artists from Bubble. The three recently visited London and co-led a workshop exploring one of the testimonies with participants from the Bubble community company who in 2012 co-created the pathway project The Grandchildren of the Blitz.

What happens next?

We are now awaiting news on funding for the next stage of the project in Japan. While we have gather the testimony and identified the artists plus many of the community performers, we are still raising funds for the costs of creating the production. The next stage of the project, should see the creative team from UK visiting Japan in May to consolidate some of the connections made, share the script with the Japanese creative team and participants and begin the first stages of developing the performance. This would be followed by a more intensive visit in July / August 2015 leading up to the performance. Our ambition is that the performance is shared digitally with an audience including the group who are working on the parallel project in London, at a UK event marking the anniversary of this event of world significance.

Following that, The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a grant for Bubble to develop a parallel project in the UK, exploring Londoner’s response to the bombing of Hiroshima including the foundation of CND and growth of the Peace Movement. 

We would like to thank the Daiwa Foundation for their generous support of the Grandchildren of Hiroshima.

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