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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.


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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