about BHOPAL 2011

The way that I met Bhopal

Norihito Nakatani(日本語はこちら)

On the 17th of August 2009, I received a mail from Shin Muramatsu of the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo.
There it said that "Molly" and her colleges were planning to hold a workshop on a factory plant in Bhopal, India. He also mentioned that he wish to send one unit master from Japan for the workshop. I asked for the place.

On the night of December 2-3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited pesticide plant in Bhopal ( भोपाल ), Madhya Pradesh, India. A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of surrounding towns and its people. The toxic gas infects the human body, including eyes and lunges.
Since the town nearby to the plant was a slum, and because there was an inversion layer in the atmosphere above, over 2000 were killed and 150,000-300,000 were damaged before dawn. It is estimated 15,000-25,000 deaths were caused related to the disaster.

I wished to participate, not only because I have once researched how the city of Hiroshima did develop after it was bombed, but moreover it was because I was once a 19-year-old who was deeply shocked by the news of the Bhopal disaster.
Who Mr. Muramatsu speaks of as "Molly" is the Indian female architect, Moulshri Joshi. As a matter of fact, she once was in my unit as a participant of the workshop that was held in Shanghai that I also participated as a unit master. The workshop was held by mAAN(modern Asian Architecture Network http://www.m-aan.org/ ) formed by Mr.Muramatsu.
Though just a trainee architect back then, now she is a associate professor at School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi with one of the best architectural courses in India. Space Matters, the atelier she participates won first prize with their Bhopal Gas Tragedy Memorial Master Plan proposal.
But due to the nature of the happening, there was no progress then on. So the workshop was partly a authorization of the matter.

For more information, please look up on the event's homepage http://www.bhopal2011.in/ The workshop was to be divided into six units, each with different themes.

Making something like a memorial in where the disasterous pollution was still going on, did not seem to be my answer.
Also, unconcerned how hard I study, I will not be able to be a part of the chaotic connection of the actual field.
Then, what shall the theme be?
Since I wanted to make better of the workshop, I held a study session beforehand.

Addition to my team that would accompany me to India, the following people thankfully participated in the session: Hajime Ishikawa , Takeshi Kinoshita, Naohiko Hino, and Atsuhiro Miyazaki from my laboratory. Before I left Japan, we held 4 sessions in all.
As a result we have decided to use Global Positioning System devices that Mr.Ishikawa specializes in. Connecting track and photographs in order to record Bhopal as it is, without being moved by the "Tragedy".
If the site of Union Carbide Factory plant, the centre of the tragedy was to be shook down and rebuilt into something else, the slum formed around it would be wiped-out for sure. Thus, recording of the surrounding areas of the site is sure be more important than what my subjective view could give.

There was a need to upload the data taken to the readymade homepage via the Google Maps API and to feedback the outcomes to the workshop instantly.
And luckily, Terada Kao a painter and a artist, offered me her assistance.

BHOPAL 2011 Official Site

mAAN Official Site





1984年の12月2日から3日未明にかけて、インドのマッディヤ・プラデーシュ州の州都ボーパール (भोपाल) で操業していたユニオンカーバイド社の子会社の化学工場から約40トンのイソシアン酸メチル (MIC) が流出し、有毒ガスが工場周辺の町に流れ出した。この有毒ガスは、目や肺を冒す猛毒である。


以前、被爆地ヒロシマの爆弾投下後の都市の成長の特性を調べていた身として、いや、19歳の頃、突然ニュースから流れ始めた信じられない事件の様子を記憶していたので、これは行きたいと思ったのだった。 村松氏がいうモリーとはインド人女性建築家のMoulshri Joshiのこと。実は2004年に村松氏が立ち上げたmAAN(modern Asian Architecture Network: http://www.m-aan.org/)が主催した上海ワークショップのとき、僕がユニットマスターとして参加した。彼女はそのときに当方のユニットに参加してくれた建築家の卵だった。それが今では結婚し、インドでは有数の建築学科を擁するSchool of Planning & Architecture, New Delhiの准教授になっていた。そして彼女が参加する設計集団space mattersがその悲劇の工場跡地の活用案を提案し、最優秀賞を得たものの、その事件の性格ゆえに事態は進展せず、オーソライズのためもありワークショップを行なうことにしたらしい。


詳しくは今回のイベントのホームページ(http://www.bhopal2011.in/)を参照していただきたいのだが、 ワークショップは六つのテーマに別れることになった。



またその途中でどうしてもリアルタイムで、Google Maps APIの機能を用いて特設ホームページにその成果を反映し、タクす会メンバーにも知恵をその都度いただく状態を設定する必要があった。交渉の末、画家であり、プログラマーでもあった寺田佳央の参加を得ることができた。



BHOPAL 2011 Official Site

mAAN Official Site