The Shadow Project

The Shadow Project refers to the description of what happened when the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  According to Helen Caldicott, MD, “Because the human body is composed mostly of water, it turns into gas when exposed to thousands of degrees Celsius.  When the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945… there was a blinding flash, and [a little boy reaching to catch a red dragonfly] disappeared leaving only the shadow of his body on the pavement behind him.”  The Shadow Project attempts to replicate this powerful image in order to remind the public of the horrors of a nuclear war.

Leading up to and on August 6, 2012, large and small groups of people traced each other’s outlines on sidewalks throughout Pittsburgh. This served as a memorial for those who suffered and died as a result of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945. 


On August 5 and 6, 2012, Pittsburghers were invited to participate by tracing each other’s outlines with chalk on sidewalks to replicate the many lives that were lost in the explosion and remind the public of the horrors of nuclear war. Locations included The Union Project, CMU, Squirrel Hill, and the Shadow Lounge.

An evening program at the Shadow Lounge included local shadow-sharing and images from Hiroshima along with a program of speakers and artists – both spoken word and music.

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