Shortly after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Subject Matter's co-founder Liezel Strauss started My Japan; a crowdsourced photographic initiative. My Japan spread love for the afflicted country while at the same time raising funds for those affected by the disaster.
As the world mourned those who lost their lives and their loved ones, Japan also had to deal with Fukushima's meltdown and the fear and panic surrounding it. Thousands of people cancelled their travel plans and many locals and expats no longer felt safe living there. Tourism collapsed overnight: the last thing Japan needed in an already dark time.
(Image credit: Julian Peters)
This struck a chord with Liezel Strauss. Born and raised in South Africa, she had seen her own country go through difficult times, and experience similar consequences. She desperately wanted to help the place she now called home, and it all started with a question on Facebook: ‘What does Japan mean to you?’
(Image credit, top to bottom: Alfie Goodrich, Catherine Susilo and Katherine Wells)
Thousands of images of hope, love, and beauty streamed in and My Japan was born. Through the power of social media and the visual effect of the imagery, strangers from around the world connected and shared their support and love for Japan.
Over the years more than 3500 photographs from people from 21 countries have been donated, resulting in four exhibitions, a photo book, a postcard series and a school project with the Montessori School of Tokyo.