Arts + Media: “Manh(A)ttan”

Named for the Manhattan Project, the research and development project responsible for developing the first atomic bombs during World War II, “Manh(A)ttan” is a new television show about the everyday lives of the government actors and their families living and working in Los Alamos, N.M. during the making of the bomb. The show blends fact-based and fictional characters, and begins “766 days” before Hiroshima. As the show moves through time, counting down to the first use of the atom bomb, it juggles and entangles interpersonal home-based, scientific, government and workplace plots attempting to emphasize and contextualize how life was lived surrounding the bomb.

Thinking about this show and its narrative, I was immediately reminded of Joseph Masco’s work. Specifically, Masco’s book The Nuclear Borderlands (2006) came to mind. This book offers varied socio-cultural “co-narratives” to that of the scientific community, directly engaged with the production of the bomb bomb, such as anti-nuclear activists and Puebloan peoples. Thinking about what narratives reach wide public audiences (and how and when they do), I find myself thinking about how thick, constellated, trans-temporal narratives like Masco’s might be translated to media tellings in the future in relation to the specific topic of the bomb. However, I am also curious to see how media interpretations, like “Manh(A)ttan,” will be approached in the future by academics as a continuation of nuclear scholarship.

CLICK HERE to visit the Manh(A)ttan website

Featured Image Information
Creator: “Keraunoscopia”
Copyright: Public Domain

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