11th of March, 2011. An M9.0 earthquake triggers a tsunami and brings terror to the Japanese archipelago, leaving over 20,000 deaed or missing. Japanese artists working in Belgium have set up ActForJapan.be, an association to support the destabilized region of north-east Japan. Kunsten Festival Des Arts supported AFJ in May 2011.
As a member of AFJ, the office SHSH has been supporting voluntarily the Japanese Institute of Architect from Miyagi Prefecture. Through their activities, KFDA has got interested in the temporary emergency shelters designed by local architect SHAA (Shoichi Haryu Architect & Associates) who is closely related to SHSH . The shelters were built in local wood by local workforce. SHSH believe that reconstruction would be sustainable and support local victims by giving them work and hope.
The collaboration between KFDA and SHSH takes shape through the layout of the festival centre in the former Magasins Vanderborght. Without wanting to reproduce a post-311 atmosphere, but keeping in mind the consequences on the victims' everyday life, SHSH is seeking to offer life's basic delights during the festival in homage to Japan : the pleasure of sharing a meal, a cultural activity or a moment of relaxation. The challenge here is to create a place which makes people want to stay and return.
And to shape a social empathy, SHSH hopes to collect plants (green and large ones if possible!) to fill the festival centre. These plants will be donated afterwards to institutions housing children and the elderly in Brussels. (contact : email@example.com)