A history of the nuclear age: from the Manhattan Project to a treaty banning the bomb

July 27, 2015

To mark the 70th anniversaries of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (6 and 9 August 2015), animator Amber Cooper-Davies, disarmament educator Kathleen Sullivan, and a team of talented musicians have produced this beautiful short film tracing the history of the nuclear age. Poignant and uplifting, it is both an educational resource and outstanding work of art.

It begins in the 1940s with the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb in the United States, and ends with a call for governments and individuals to support ICAN’s efforts to achieve a global treaty banning nuclear weapons. The film is dedicated “to all hibakusha everywhere” – the victims and survivors of the nuclear age. “If we can live together, with strength and love, we can make no more hibakusha.”

Segments of the animation were originally produced for a concert held in New York City on 2 May during the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference at the United Nations. Organized by Youth Arts New York and Hibakusha Stories, it was titled “With Love to Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Concert for Disarmament”. The photographs of the evening below were taken by Paule Saviano.

Animations: Amber Cooper-Davies
Producer: Kathleen Sullivan
Composer: Sam Sadigursky
Sound mix and recording: Blaise Dupuy
Clarinet and winds: Sam Sadigursky
Violin and erhu: Meg Okura
Additional clarinet: Marianne Gythfeldt
Vocals: Michael Leonhardt
DVD authoring: Michael Grenadier
Consultation: Tim Wright
Translation: Yuko Tonohira
New York City students sing with members of the Nagasaki all-hibakusha choir.
DJ Spooky performing “Peace Symphony: 8 Stories”.
Hiroshima survivor Shigeko Sasamori with Clifton Truman Daniel, grandson of Harry S. Truman.
ICAN’s Asia Pacific director, Tim Wright.
Masaaki Tanokura, of the Osaka Symphony, playing a violin that survived the Hiroshima bombing.

  • aiweiwei

    “Let’s act up! Ban nuclear weapons completely and unconditionally.”

    Ai Weiwei Artist and activist

  • sheen

    “If Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr were alive today, they would be part of ICAN.”

    Martin Sheen Actor and activist

  • bankimoon

    “I salute ICAN for working with such commitment and creativity.”

    Ban Ki-moon Former UN chief

  • yokoono

    “We can do it together. With your help, our voice will be made still stronger. Imagine peace.”

    Yoko Ono Artist

  • jodywilliams

    “Governments say a nuclear weapons ban is unlikely. Don’t believe it. They said the same about a mine ban treaty.”

    Jody Williams Nobel laureate

  • desmondtutu

    “With your support, we can take ICAN its full distance – all the way to zero nuclear weapons.”

    Desmond Tutu Nobel laureate

  • herbiehancock

    “Because I cannot tolerate these appalling weapons, I whole-heartedly support ICAN.”

    Herbie Hancock Jazz musician

  • dalailama

    “I can imagine a world without nuclear weapons, and I support ICAN.”

    Dalai Lama Nobel laureate