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United States
Lawrence Sumulong

Mira Joshaia Benjamin poses for a portrait near a broken window in Springdale, Arkansas. She is one of 29 remaining indigenous inhabitants of Bikini Atoll, a group of 23 islands on a coral reef in the Marshall Islands. Bikinians were asked by the United States military to temporarily leave their homeland in 1946 so that the U.S. could conduct nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, they carried out 23 nuclear tests in the area, one with 1000 times the force of the Hiroshima nuclear explosion. The Bikini residents were prevented from returning to their home in the 1970s due to high levels of radiation. Many instead relocated to Kili Island and are now facing the prospect of another exile, as rising sea levels and increased flooding threaten to engulf the remains of their adopted homeland in the Pacific Ocean.

Lawrence Sumulong is a Filipino American photographer and the Photograph Editor for Jazz at Lincoln Center based in New York City. This photograph is part of his series that emulates uranotypes, an archaic photographic process that utilizes slightly radioactive uranyl nitrate, to represent the tone and varied textures of this story, as well as the toxic effects of nuclear testing.