Fukushima, Cattle, Insurrection, Becoming-Woman

25.08.2011 § Leave a comment

Some comrades have been working on this fascinating website: JAPAN: FISSURES IN THE PLANETARY APPARATUS. The coverage on Fukushima stuff is really horrendous over here, if it get covered at all. Recently the NY times published an article calling out Japanese government for suppressing information, which is certainly true, the radiation is literally off the charts — the measuring machines can’t read it. And the government is encouraging people to ignore it.

BUT! What about the life? Where is the STRUGGLE? what are people doing? What CAN they do? Word has it food shortages (due to the fact that all new crops are fully radioactive) are coming up in the next months, that people are thinkign about making exodus from the toxic sites, perhaps appropriating land, space, elsewhere.

A perusal of Jfissures.org found:

From a letter “To Foreign Comrades” :

In the aftermath of 3/11, a new network of people has begun mobilizing in Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Hyogo. The members of the new network include: older activists who had been protesting against nuclear power plants Monju (in Tsuruga), Takahama and Mihama nuclear power plants; DJs and sound demo organizers; residents of tent village and their supporters; Organic farmers; researchers of global warming through water resources; activists for abolishment of death sentence; people from religious organizations; friends, acquaintances, riot grrrls, queer friends, and the poor. Everybody is different but based on minimum commonground, we are organizing a mob to make things together

And this caught an eye, though deleuze-drenched… remember that quote from A Thousand Plateaus…

“All becoming is minoritarian. Women, regardless of their numbers, are a minority, definable as a state or a subset; but they create only by making possible a becoming over which they do not have ownership into which they themselves must enter; this is a becoming-woman affecting all of humanking, men and women both.” (117)

and then how Elizabeht Grosz picked it up and said

“Becoming-woman means going beyond identity and subjectivity, fragmenting and freeing up lines of flight, “liberating” multiplicities, corporeal and otherwise, that identity subsumes under the one. Woman’s becoming-woman is a movement for and of all subjects insofar as it is the putting into play of a series of microfeminities,impulses, wills, in all subjects…” (178)

well then we have, from jfissures.org, “In the streets we become cattle: Towards a theory of demonstrations”

You cannot find us. We have given up our names. Which we had borne from start to finish. We are in exodus from our resumes and CV’s, workplace ethics and being a good citizen. But, from the start we didn’t have names. The plebs don’t leave any remains anyway. People may call us minor. We never could understand what statements like ‘it’s safe’ or ‘it won’t influence health’ meant. The words that come out of the infants that we’d see from time to time on the bus or on the train are more articulate than that stuff. On that day in Tokyo where a fascist mayor had gained his reelection, we who gathered in the streets of Koenji, in spite of the fear of being injured by radiation, walked between the threshold of the everyday, and a new ethics which unfolds outside of it. You define this world of ours in terms of opinion. We don’t understand what an opinion is and we don’t want to know. We get this the whole time we’re walking, from start to finish, and we don’t want to hear it, since it is not even of everyday life. If that’s proper Japanese or if it’s ethics we will be in exodus from it. We make our appeal to micropolitics. At this moment we are walking in this street.

We greet the children who wear their sanitary masks, flee from the rain, and avoid drinking their water, and who play in the courtyards where the dust dances, and say to them,‘welcome home.’ They will be able to choose to continue living life through the image of our lives.

We become a pack. We do not rely on any regulation or system which disconnects us from the pack. Imagine it. An invisible system that cannot be put into language. A disconnection that is latent in it, that men and women hang around. There are people there who learn intimacy with their man or their woman in it. Their encounters with them are disseminated. But when they separate they give up their intimacy, don’t they? We are alone and we are innumerable. We do not adjust our immanent gregariousness to the default system.

It ‘s the same with the difference between men and women, in men and women. In the invisible system we can see roles for men and the roles for women distributed here and there. But he who hangs on, and she who hangs on here is pierced through by the single pack. They become woman. It is in anticipation in their wombs. They occupy a single position. We are alone and we are innumerable. I wonder to myself if I can become woman. Sexuality is not something we possess but which supports us through difference. It makes us and it takes us apart. In assembling us, it strips us bare of our positionality as individuals. We who have been made solitary by the ethics of the pack continue our encounters on the street, again, and again.


At Fukushima, cattle and dogs escaped. Later, innumerable cattle appeared in front of TEPCO’s offices. They were brought there in the shaking trailer against their will, for had they only known where TEPCO’s offices were they surely would have come there walking. Can we discern the plaintiveness that crosses over into urgency in their voice as we walk? We become cattle and dogs. Perhaps this is solidarity.

We already knew. We are able to be in that close, intimate time. That time which was lived by cattle, dogs, and cats. A voice may say, that close intimacy was the time when we were domesticated by the family, the state, the system. A loud voice may say, ‘be human!’ ‘the encounter is what happened after all of that!’ But this should not be overlooked: We are not in the business of verifying the connections between us and them. Our affect shaken by cattle, feeling shame, we become cattle. The Self Defense Force (SDF) member who fled from Fukushima became cattle before this shame, and exposed his shame. He is us. Being-man right now — wasn’t this what he was ashamed of? We become cats whose tongues are dry from the dust when we walk through the shattered rubble, we become dogs when we drink seawater on the shore where there is nothing but the sound of waves. We become cattle when we chew the cud while keenly sensing the disquiet in its unchanging taste. With our affect shaken by one shame after another we become cattle and dogs and cats, and we become a pack. A pack of innumerable affects that cannot be disconnected. The groups called Bosozoku (motorcycle gangs) in Yokohama and Ibaraki, ashamed with confused adults, raised voice through the roaring produced by their high-speed intimacies with their motorcycles. They showed their affect and abandoned their given names all by themselves. When a high school student in Minami Soma said, ‘I feel death coming on bit by bit,’ she became woman. Even a woman becomes woman. When you get down to it, what is ‘realistic,’ what is ‘possible,’ what is an ‘alternative energy plan?’ We should not get too familiar with these things. Because we have abandoned our names.

3/11. On the way home from hours long walk, we noticed it. Through the explosion at Fukushima, we came to believe, in the darkness of the rolling blackout. We carried the great and vague fear and anxiety, of wondering what could happen next. But we became aware of something that could only be expressed as a strange sense of release after the fear. What had bound us was the radioactive, the nuclear. Being ordered to ‘be human’ from the moment we were born. This was also the same. Even the left-wing groups are saying, ‘make connections!’ This was also the same. The SDF in exodus from Fukushima had felt it. The young couples who had fled Fukushima with their children had felt it. We were in exodus because of the absence of a common ethics. The future that nuclear power had prepared had collapsed. Constituting innumerable affinities, all the while fearing radiation, we are together in something mysterious which can only be expressed as liberation.

the streets we saw nothing but insurrection.

It’s stupid to ask what counterproposals or alternative lifestyles or posses were born there.

In the street, among those who go by the way of the street, there are innumerable conspiracies.

Multiple conspiracies, which nobody can grasp completely.

We will make an insurrection in the streets again.

But it will be completely different from the one before.

With our affect shaken in shame, constantly re-encountering,

As innumerable lines change their form we become a pack and make an insurrection,

Before every nuclear plant collapses in on itself in shame.


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