Among the works displayed are the first photos taken following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and images of the first nuclear tests, which took place in New Mexico.
“It’s insane that we have them in this gallery," Slavick said, referring to the photographs from Hiroshima. "I get goosebumps even telling you that. I can't believe that they’re hanging here."
“Nuclear Visions” marks the first time that these photographs have been displayed in North Carolina. Slavick said she believes that it is important that North Carolinians understand just how prevalent nuclear radiation is in the state.
“We have a nuclear power plant, the Shearon Harris Plant, which isn't that far away,” Slavick said. “We have the North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network. I just think nuclear power is an issue for everyone.”
Coinciding with the exhibit, Robert Jacobs, a nuclear historian and professor at Hiroshima Peace Institute and Hiroshima City University, will give a lecture entitled, “Seeing the Unseeable” on Oct. 29 as part of the Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series.
“One part of my talk is talking about that notion of seeing the unseeable, of how artists try to represent things that are almost impossible to understand or perceive,” Jacobs said. “These things that are so abstract that we're not sure how to gauge what this threat is, and it makes photographers work very hard to try to represent to us what the situation we are in is, what these dangers are and how this is a threatening thing.”
Jacobs said that Slavick has been trying to get him to visit UNC for several years and that he was driven to give the lecture not only because of his relationship with Slavick, but also by the photography itself.
“I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for the work that the Atomic Photographers Guild does, so being able to be a part of it is such an honor,” Jacobs said.
Slavick said she believes that the photography is a gateway to information and history that impacts everyone.
“If you walk around with the exhibit checklist and look at 10 images and their corresponding text, you're going to learn something,” Slavick said. “I think we're here at the University to teach and educate and give people information in a clear way. This is both through the images and the text.”
Jacobs said he sees the exhibit as more than just a display of photography, but rather an opportunity to unmask an issue that affects the entire world.
“We are under such dire threat, in many ways, not just militarily, from these weapons and from this technology," Jacobs said. "The dangers and the risks are mostly not things that we can see. These photographers have worked really hard to help people learn how to see this dire threat.”