Two years after the Japan earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of 2011, Google, at the request of the Mayor of Fukushima Prefecture, drove its cameras through the streets of the Exclusion Zone to allay the concerns of the remaining 300,000 evacuees.
I have used Google Street View with a photographer’s eye to access the inaccessible. As I wandered in this silent, abandoned world, populated almost exclusively by vending machines, I began to comprehend more deeply the unimaginable upheaval that had been visited upon this place despite the attempted erasures of the clean-up crews. In time the vending machines came to be the most poignant evidence of the people and their daily lives now gone forever.
Although these haunting images belie their violent origins, they should remind us of the incredible fragility of our planet and its inhabitants.