Branching Out

Following on from Yuriage, we started to accept and clean photographs from other areas. We also began to think about organizing photo cleaning workshops that brought together Fujifilm staff past and present, as well as members of the public.

Some of the project members were uncertain about the feasibility of successfully gathering volunteers, let alone organizing a workshop involving a large number of people from outside the company. Although the application period only lasted 10 days, we were contacted by an enormous number of applicants. As a result, more than 1,500 people were involved in our photo cleaning workshops between August and November.

Although some participants were professional photographers, each and every person involved expressed their love for photography; being surrounded by such a passionate group was greatly encouraging to us. As a company that has worked with photography for decades, we were filled with a sense of gratitude as we watched people work tirelessly to recover an image from a damaged photograph.

In October, we organized one-day photo cleaning workshops at 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Akihabara, Tokyo. The series was co-organized by WA WA Project, a platform created to support people in creative fields who were working to overcome their grief in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake. The workshops were led by a volunteer who had previously participated in one of our Ashigara workshops.

We also began to hear that a number of people who had been involved with the workshops at 3331 Arts Chiyoda had gone on to successfully started photo cleaning workshops in their own communities, companies and schools. Furthermore, those participants went on to take similar action, resulting in the workshops gradually spreading throughout the country.

Regardless of where the workshop was situated, all of the volunteers shared a mutual sense of sympathy for those affected and were committed to saving the photographs. In order to assist the various workshops, we shared information on photo cleaning and supplied materials such as small photo albums.