Safety last: risk, interactivity and video activism in contemporary Tokyo

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As the debate over Japan's re-militarization and revision of the 1947 Peace Constitution continues, art and activism have challenged the increasing presence of the security state in everyday life. Art activists object to the way that ambient global risk is framed by state and media in indigenous terms, seen as imminent and local to Japan, particularly through measures analogizing Japan's supposed threat from North Korea to the 9/11 attacks. Departing from the political modernist critique of idealism pursued as rupture and discontinuity by film-maker critics of post-war militarism in the 1960s and 1970s, video activist/director Tsuchiya Yutaka patterns his critique of risk on properties of television - sitespecificity, genre, and form - to show how global risk is made to seem site-specific to Tokyo, yet written into narratives of risk on a global scale.

Keywords: documentary; furiitaa; neo-liberalism; post-war Japanese film; subculture; video activism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: McGill University.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • The journal aims to provide a platform for the study of new forms of cinematic practice and fresh approaches to cinemas hitherto neglected in western scholarship. It particularly welcomes scholarship that does not take existing paradigms and theoretical conceptualisations as given; rather, it anticipates submissions that are refreshing in approach and exhibit a willingness to tackle cinematic practices that are still in the process of development into something new.  
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