Safe as Mother's Milk: The Hanford Project 2002
Safe as Mother's Milk is a physical installation and web-based documentary examining the atomic history of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation located in southeastern Washington State. For more than forty years, Hanford released radioactive materials into the environment on an uninformed public while producing plutonium for America's nuclear arsenal during the Cold War era. This project incorporates recently declassified documents and historical photographs available online through the Hanford Declassified Document Retrieval System.
Although civilians were informed of Hanfordıs plutonium-production activities by the end of World War II, officials in charge kept secret the growing number of radioactive releases, experiments and other environmental safety hazards resulting at the facility.
During the mid-1980s, increasing public suspicion over Hanford activities forced government agencies and their civilian sub-contractors to release formally classified documents through a request under the Freedom of Information Act. With the release of these documents in 1986, the public has been able to piece together a devastating chronicle of atomic weaponry production that consequently poisoned the people it was ironically meant to protect. Thousands of area residents from towns and farms surrounding the Hanford Site and beyond have suffered an array of health problems including thyroid cancers, autoimmune diseases and reproductive disorders that they feel are the direct result of these releases and experiments.
Safe as Mother's Milk examines these important events through declassified historical photographs, media and documents available online at various government archives, including the Hanford Declassified Document Retrieval System and Human Radiation Experiments Information Management System (HREX). The physical installation includes collection of symbolic objects and ephemera relating to the subject. This project was commissioned by Adrian Van Egmond for Cornish College of the Arts ART + ACTIVISM 2002 Visiting Artist Series.
|© 2010 greenmuseum.org|