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Introduction

sendai mediatheque and 3/11

Located at the center of Sendai (the largest city in the disaster area affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, March 11, 2011), sendai mediatheque itself went through considerable damage, resulting in two months of closure and taking nearly a whole year to fully reopen. However, so much more significant than physical damage was the challenge—one that questions what sendai mediatheque can do to quickly respond to this unprecedented scale of disaster, as a cultural institution that is open to everyone. The grass-roots, participatory video recording/archiving project, "center for remembering 3.11," and a collection of open discussion/activity meetings called the "Thinking Table," are among attempts to respond to this challenge. However, it has been, and will remain to be, a fundamentally open and ongoing process, as the disaster itself is far from over, constantly defining and redefining our lives in a post-3/11 world.

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