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These Indigenous Artists Are Remembering Their Shared History With Japan As Nuclear Bomb Victims

A shared history of nuclear bombs brings together Japan and an Aboriginal community.

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A group of people from the remote Aboriginal community of Yalata in South Australia is trying to raise funds to travel to Nagasaki, Japan, to gift the city with a sculpture acknowledging their shared history of being victims of nuclear bombs.

A sculpture representing the Aboriginal people from the Maralinga Lands, which was extensively used as a nuclear testing ground in the 1950's, has been gifted to the Nagasaki Peace Park.

The sculpture is of a coolamon dish, an ancient tool used for survival, and will sit in the park which commemorates the atomic bombing of the city in 1945 by American forces during World War Two and killed 73,000 Japanese.

“The wind can blow an idea away. But a sculpture holds that idea forever.” Keith Peters, Maralinga Tjarutja Council Chair, said about the project.


Now a delegation of five artists and elders from Yalata, who are descendants of those who were subjected to radioactive exposure at Maralinga, are fundraising to travel to Nagasaki and officially present the sculpture to the Japanese people on the behalf of Australia.

Early last year Steven Harrison and Russell Bryant, Aboriginal men from Yalata, travelled to Japan to meet victims of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Instagram: @hrun

We meet with some of the survivors who told us their stories. We exchanged some of our stories," Harrison said.

"I would jump at the chance to go back over there. So our story is there for the next two hundred, three hundred years".

The community is hoping to raise $30,000 by April.

You can find more information and ways to donate at the Gift for Peace website,

Formerly with BuzzFeed News, Allan Clarke is a NITV reporter based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at

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