Fukushima Surfers
The series Fukushima Surfers focuses on the surfing community in Fukushima, Japan. It consists of posed portraits on location, observational and landscape photographs. The photographer Liverani is interested in exploring how the surfing community is reshaping and reclaiming post-disaster Fukushima beaches. Before the tsunami and triple nuclear meltdown in 2011, and before being forever associated with radiation and disaster, the coast of Fukushima, meaning “Good Luck Valley”, was known for its beautiful beaches and high waves. It was a surfers’s paradise, ranking among the best surfing spots in Japan. After the trauma of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, surfers had to regain their trust for the ocean that had killed their loved ones and destroyed their homes. It is said that the surfers were the first ones to return to the Fukushima beaches. Some went back to off-limits areas within weeks of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown, despite potentially dangerous radiation levels. According to both government surveys and some local groups it is now officially safe to dive into the waters around the Fukushima Daiichi. The aforementioned groups include surfer groups, who independently monitor radiation at the beaches. The local surfers’ community is very active in trying to win back the trust of the general public into returning to the beach. Surfing is making a comeback in Fukushima.

Laura Liverani is an award winning documentary photographer and university lecturer based between Tokyo and Italy. Liverani’s work focuses on socio-anthropological issues and is published and exhibited internationally. Publications include The Guardian, Benetton’s Clothes for Humans, Marie Claire, Washington Post, New Scientist and Japan Times. Liverani’s projects were exhibited at the Singapore International Photo Festival, Italian Cultural Institute in Tokyo and the Japan Foundation in Sydney. She has been teaching photography at universities in Italy and abroad, including Istituto Superiore Industrie Artistiche (Italy), Middlesex University in London, National College of Art in Dublin and Hochschule Düsseldorf. In 2017 she joined photojournalism agency Prospekt. 

Laura Liverani (IT) "Fukushima Surfers" - Helphoto 2020
Laura Liverani (IT) "Fukushima Surfers" - Helphoto 2020