Photographer Paule Saviano filled a book with pictures he took of Hibakusha, the Japanese word for survivors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The book, From Above, features individual black-and-white photographs of survivors he met during the past few years. (Also featured are survivors of the World War II fire bombings of both Tokyo and Dresden, Germany.)
To commemorate the 67th anniversary of the US boming of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Saviano appeared on The John Batchelor Show on WABC radio earlier this week.
Saviano, a Brooklyn native who says “what we’ve learned about the atomic bomb was always missing in my education,” discussed what it was like to hear the survivors’ stories. He met a man from Nagasaki who said “his life started when the atomic bomb went off,” says Saviano. “That was his first memory of life when he was four years old.”
After From Above was printed, Saviano had the opportunity to visit Coventry, England, at the suggestion of survivors in Dresden. Meeting these survivors, who were quite young at the time, left a lasting impression on Saviano.
“It showed me that there’s no victory in war,” Saviano says. “There’s ony suffering, no matter what side you’re on.”