27th March: 2.00pm
The Hiroshima Resilience Project (HRP) pairs live online presenters/facilitators with virtual technology to tell the story of Hiroshima, before, during and after the atomic bombing.
The story of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is of tragedy, catastrophe and loss. However, it is also one of hope, optimism and moving forward. The HRP presents these different but surprisingly complementary narratives in order for participants to gain new understanding of this pivotal event. In doing so, the HRP inspires participants to think deeply about the concept of resilience and its role in their lives and communities.
Throughout this journey, participants follow the story of Toshiko, a 6-year-old hibakusha (survivor) of the bombing. Through Toshiko, participants first experience what happened on August 6, 1945 and then join her and the resilient citizens of Hiroshima to transform their city into the beautiful “City of Peace” that inspires millions around the world today.
The HRP utilizes computer graphics renderings, Artificial Intelligence colourised photos, virtual simulations, rare historical film footage, interactive polls, discussion sessions, and introspective activities on a Google Earth platform.
The Hiroshima Resilience Project is a collaboration between the Oleander Initiative in Cambridge, MA, USA and Peace Culture Village in Hiroshima, Japan. Organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building and supported by the Community Relations Council.
Ray Matsumiya is the Director of the Cambridge, MA based Oleander Initiative that gathers peacebuilders from around the world to Hiroshima, Japan for life changing programs and study tours. Inspired by a mother from Hiroshima, Ray has devoted his professional career to unofficial diplomacy, cross-cultural exchange and peacebuilding. Over the past twenty years, he has supervised programs for over 2500 educators and civil society leaders in the US, Japan, Spain, and nine Middle Eastern/ North African countries. His programs have been featured in the New York Times, El Pais, USA Today and PBS via NHK World.
Ray has been an invited speaker at TEDx, the Massachusetts State House, the Dayton International Peace Museum, the US embassy of Tunis and universities such as the Sloan School at M.I.T and the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Ray received his Master’s degree from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and his BA from Wesleyan University. He is a certified mediator, fluent in English and proficient in Japanese and Levant Arabic.
Mary Popeo is Co-founder & Business Director, Peace Culture Village from Boston, MA, USA. When she was a student at Boston College, Mary visited Hiroshima and Nagasaki on research grants to study nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Those experiences changed her life. After graduating, she became a youth organizer and nuclear weapons abolition activist, working with groups such as Global Zero, American Friends Service Committee, Japan Council against A & H Bombs, and New Japan Women’s Association.
Mary has also worked at Harvard University, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Boston University, and Showa Boston Institute for Language and Culture. She moved to Hiroshima in 2016 and became a founding member of PCV in 2017.