Becci Manson on healing scars after the Japan tsunami 2011

Wow, I just saw this fantastic TED Talk by Becci Manson, a photoshop retoucher who volunteered in the aftermath of the Japan tsunami in 2011. I want to share it with you because that disaster - as many of you know - is very close to my heart. I worked there for two weeks, creating images for three amazing organisations. Like Becci I was struck by the immense amount of printed photos I saw in the rubble - and I was touched by the delicate care that was taken in bringing these tiny sheets of paper out of the mud and back to the evacuation centers. When you’re walking knee-deep in mud that goes on for miles and miles - what are the chances that one piece of paper makes it back to the hands of the owner? Well, thanks to Becci, I now know that at least some of them did. Amazing work Becci - and thanks for sharing!

Below the video you’ll find two images from my Survivors feature story - showing one of the piles of photos collected from the mud, and to set the scale of what it means to find these needles in the haystack - take a look at the last picture from the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture.

Ishinomaki, Japan, 2011. In the corner of yet another evacuation center, in a pile of orphaned photos and notes found in the mud and debris, a newlywed couple stares into a future turned upside down. Their frame and glass still covered in dry mud from a disaster hitting like a lightning from the sky.

Ishinomaki, Japan, 2011. In the corner of yet another evacuation center, in a pile of orphaned photos and notes found in the mud and debris, a newlywed couple stares into a future turned upside down. Their frame and glass still covered in dry mud from a disaster hitting like a lightning from the sky.

A Statue Of Liberty copy stretches her torch towards a dark sky, she remains as one of the few standing structures on this island in the river that cuts through Ishinomaki.

A Statue Of Liberty copy stretches her torch towards a dark sky, she remains as one of the few standing structures on this island in the river that cuts through Ishinomaki.

Thanks for reading. More to come...
/Kasper