PhotoLog; アイヌ、風の肖像 宇井 眞紀子 写真展 PhotExhibition Makiko UI, “Ainu, portraits in the wind”

The photo-exhibition by my teacher, who is as old as my mother and whose photos I’ve wanted to see for a long time, finally I’ve visited and saw her photographs there. Here, I write down what I thought there.

Honestly, what I remember from the word, “Ainu,” is only the cruel historical event which was done under the Japanese government commender in 793, “Ezo Seibatsu,” and discrimination after it; it means what I know is only thing on textbooks. Very far people in tails. But my images were to be denied and were so, because they taught me a lot of truth today.
Images of plates, such as a life of  a woman, who keeps Ainu own traditional ways, the word “primitive” can be used, creatures or sunshine around her or their lives, and chains of communication among “natives.” Each of them is ver practical and real, and made me affect that even nowadays there’re still such lives, and also worry  how they can keep their lives or economy. There was no dynamic images or beautiful affective scene as if movies. I thought she intended to remove those kinds pictures and put ordinary calm visuals which we can feel she lived with them together. And I felt her posture with sincerity to them.

I’ve been wondering what photographing is for so long time. I was the one who thought photography is recording and started it at first, though, changed into the one who considers photograph only what express something; I thought such a thing while seeing her exhibition. Pictures of exchanging Aboriginal in NZ and Ainu showed me anew that acts of photographing cross on act of traveling and all of evidences one moved or behaved are in clouded in the territory of express.
Of course we can construct something to photograph without traveling anywhere, though, is it enough to do when we look back the history of the word, “Picturesque,” and character and new stream of art.

When I was off, I asked Ms. UI what existence for us Ainu are. I wanted to ask her rather her view after acts of “photographing= traveling” than each picture.
“Anyway, Ainu really are ordinary people,” her saying words reminded me one scene from a novel, “Лес Икара” written by So Kurokawa; we are the same ordinary people with “Used desire, normal kindness, dream and jesuitry.” As we Japanese often think over what history or culture we have and what like we want to live, they have only few chance to choice but they thought over how they live; keep traditional lives, get mixed into Japanese, or between them. Ms. Ui told me; “Through education in Japan, we are never taught and teach culture and tradition of Ainu, but we are taught and teach Japanese culture and tradition in Japanese. This situation means they have no choice; a kind of discrimination. Actually in Australia, aboriginal people can choice the school that with aboriginal language they taught along curriculum which has the base of their culture or that of European based, she said. Now, which is happier can we say, we Japanese or Ainu people?

I try to make this country change into one where we and they who live in piece with different culture, tradition and history can live together happily.

※『イカロスの森』(黒川創・著 2002年9月25日 新潮社)/ “Лес Икара” written by So Kurokawa, Sep. 2002, Shichosha, Japan