Saturday, 12 March 2011

Japan- fragile or resilient?

I've been trawling through some of the footage of the tsunami that has just hit Japan, and found a rather interesting but also strangely idiosyncratic article by Hugh Levinson from the BBC;

'Japan: A fragile country at the mercy of nature'-

Given the title, one would perhaps expect the story to focus on the fragility of Japan. However, while the word 'panic' is mentioned once, it is used to describe the journalist's own internal feelings, rather than any mass panic of those affected. He also mentions the term resilience in the following way;

"The city of Tokyo has shown extraordinary resilience. In March 1945, a couple of decades after the great earthquake, American B29s dropped incendiary bombs on the city of wooden houses. The resulting firestorm killed 100,000 people in the course of a single night. Waiting for the "big one" is a part of Japanese life".

Therefore, this begs the question of why does the title focus on fragility, while the body of the article focuses on resilience? It seems here that even when the coverage of emergencies rightly points out the incredible resilience that people can show in response to disasters, it is all too easy to slip back into the pervasive myth of vulnerability, even when the material presented suggests the opposite!

No comments:

Post a Comment