TO THE VILLAGE SQUARE
From Montague, Massachusetts to Fukushima, Japan. 1975- 2014
By Lionel Delevingne with an introduction by Anna Gyorgy
Hardcover – 144 pages – 978-1-63226-004-8 – October 7, 2014 – $34.95
I am an independent photographer and journalist, born in France and sensitized by the events of May 1968 Paris. I traveled to the United States in 1971 and found myself documenting the Washington, D.C. May Day demonstrations. That is where I learned that the power of a peaceful but vocal citizenry could affect national policy.
Married to an American, I chose to live in Montague, Massachusetts, where I was privileged to witness the emergence of a new political force: activists mobilizing successfully against a proposed twin-reactor nuclear power plant. Documenting and reporting on the antinuclear/Safe Energy movement did not come easily at first because the established media did not view it as “fit to print.” Liberation News Service, Mother Jones, New Times, New Age, The Village Voice, and Le Sauvage/Nouvel Obs in France were among the few who understood the crucial importance of the issue and took my photographs. After the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, when the seriousness of the issue became clear to the mainstream press, my work was featured in Newsweek’s “10 years that shook America” in November 1979
This book is about power. Not just nuclear power but, as I have witnessed, the power of community to force action and make a change. Indeed, due to such action, no construction was commissioned for 30 years. And now, Entergy Nuclear corporation’s Vermont Yankee is due to close next year—another success that took three decades, lots of intelligence, perseverance, and grit by a small group of heroic activists to achieve. It is unfortunately clear to me that the threat of nuclear power remains real. In recent years, I have been appalled to see the co-opting of “green” by the nuclear industry’s lobbying spin-masters. It will be impossible for the reader viewing these photographs from Chernobyl and Fukushima not to reach the same conclusion. Evidence from these nuclear catastrophes confirms and reinforces that a safer energy alternative must be found.
This book is my small homage to the power of democracy in the pursuit of a safe and clean environment for us all. I dedicate this collection to the younger generation in the hopes that they will accept the torch passed by their parents’ generation and fight for themselves for the right to live with cleaner, renewable sustainable sources of energy. As Albert Einstein said in 1946, “To the village square we must carry the facts of Atomic energy; from there must come America’s voice.” As recent events have made clear, it is time to stand again, to defeat the scourge of nuclear energy.
Lionel Delevingne – Stockbridge, Massachusetts
“Lionel Delevingne’s photographs have captured for all time one of the most significant movements in the modern environmental renaissance: The No Nukes movement in the 1970s, particularly the groundbreaking Seabrook campaign by the Clamshell Alliance. The people of this region set the standard for citizen action in the era of nuclear proliferation. Delevingne’s images portray the power of non-violent citizen direct action to oppose the abuse of power.
Images, specifically photographic images, can change the world. By revealing the power of direct citizen action, Delevingne’s photographs manifest the spirit of social movement and inspire future generations to take action to protect their communities.”
Rex Weyler– author, co-founder Greenpeace International
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