Tae is interested in the continuous interplay between the environment and its inhabitants,contemporary post-disaster experiences, and creativity, both as a subject and as a method of research. Her MA fieldwork focused on how a group of residents from Arahama (north-eastern Japan) reimagined their relationship with the post-tsunami environment through care and their resolution to reject the role of passive victims and creatively reclaim agency over their biographies. Building on the reciprocity between the visual and the ethnographic craft, Tae’s thesis explored unexpected ways to access, reflect on, and share research. At Princeton, she intends to apply this synesthetic approach to delve into the link between different understandings of recovery in Arahama and reconstruction’s key elements: concrete, soil, wood, water, and tea. At the same time, her work will approach the distance of relocation, not as an uncomplicated, empty expanse of helplessness, but as a space that can be – and often is – creatively inhabited.
Anthropology Graduate Student