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P


aper Cranes for Japan


The following is submitted by Whitney Blaisdell, an Arts Education student at the University of Regina.


As a student, I (Whitney Blais- dell) found that I was just one of many young people impacted emotionally by


the horrific events that


began in Japan on March 11, 2011. Like many other students, I felt powerless because I was not able to make a significant financial donation to the relief efforts.


A few weeks prior to the cata- strophic earthquakes in Japan, I had created an art installation in my 3D art course for instructor Barbara Meneley. For this project, I made 1,000 white paper cranes in honour of the real-life story, “Sadako and the Thousand Pa- per Cranes.” This art installation was designed to explore issues of peace, strength, and hope—be- cause Sadako was a young girl that exhibited all of these merits. She lived in Japan and had devel- oped leukemia as a result of the atom bomb during World War II.


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In order to bring hope and luck to her life and health after her diagnosis, Sadako began to fold origami with the intent of mak- ing 1,000 paper cranes—a strong symbol of luck in her culture. Sadly, she was only able to fin- ish 644 cranes before she passed away. Sadako’s story impacted many, and it was in tribute to her determination that I originally folded 1,000 paper cranes and prepared my first installation at the University or Regina.


After the March 11th earthquake


and tsunami, I began to consider whether these cranes could be used, in any capacity, for the relief efforts in Japan. After various deliberations, and through the support and consultation of Pro- fessor Barbara Meneley, I decided to create a second art installation with the cranes, this time with the intention of collecting donations for a Japan relief fund.


My goal was to set up a fund- raiser that would attract a variety of people, including students and others that were not necessarily able to make large donations to a charity, and to encourage the notion that even a small contribu- tion could make a big difference. I sought to create a display that was creative and aesthetically interesting, and because the pa- continued on page 7


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