after the bradbury museum, the sky is ablaze

digital chromogenic prints, 2017


the car curved tightly around tall salmon colored mountains. the dry new mexico sun scorched my clunky metal camera as we pulled off road to see the vista. we didn’t know what to expect. we had never been to los alamos and wondered what the air quality would be like. at the museum, an eager face welcomed us; she said she was proud to share her town with us, a town that had made something as strong and bright as the sun. we were showered with glossy photos of the mushroom cloud––dark panels with bold text that read, “the war left us no choice.” we entered a pitch-black room and were instantly overwhelmed with sounds of cheering voices, dramatic images painting a patriotic celebration of victory. after memorializing, we stepped outside to find the sky a raging palette of orange and sienna. was this part of the presentation, or had we happened upon a scientific test? it was stunning and nauseating to walk out of the atomic bomb museum to a sky like this.

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