Photo Essay: Broken Hallelujah, by Akemi Ohara

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Broken Hallelujah

Inspired by Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah”, I travelled to Israel in June, 2008. Cohen’s biblical anecdotes inspired me to seek better self-awareness and personal expression. I took photographs on film but they were all damaged by the x-rays at the airport. An unpleasant wave-like pattern scarred all the pictures I made. I hid all these photographs in my room and showed nobody.

Three years later, the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. I was 10 miles away when the earthquake happened. I returned home by car and the journey took a lot longer than usual. I learnt of the devastation from news on the radio.

A few days later, radioactivity began to leak from the nuclear power plant in the Fukushima Prefecture where I lived. Everyone feared the invisible radioactivity. I looked at the map indicating affected areas circulating the nuclear power plant. I was reminded of my damaged photographs.

Shown here is a series of photographs I took of a baptism in the Jordan River. I am praying that the ground and the sea in my hometown washes as soon as possible and are purified. I hope all the people can return.

Photographs & Text (Edited): Akemi Ohara
Akemi was a recent participant in Reminders Photography Stronghold’s workshop in Japan.

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