Mapping Nuclear Colonialism: The Legacy of Princeton Knowledge and Nuclear Testing on Indigenous Lands

Created by Ila Nako '26 (Kanaka ʻŌiwi), Gustavo Blanco-Quiroga '25 (Aymara), Cassie Eng '25, and Wiley Kohler '25; advised by Travis Chai Andrade '24 (Kanaka ʻŌiwi)

Title of the project

Art made on Canva. The Nuclear sign imagery is created by Dan Taulapapa McMullin (Samoan) Radiation Mats (2021), vinyl. 

How is knowledge spread around the world? How is it weaponized and transformed into tools of violence, power, and influence? How does Princeton contribute to the Nuclear “web of knowledge”? 

These were the leading questions asked by our group, Irradiated Ivy League. We aimed to map the literal “web of knowledge” that was introduced in Professor Mian’s lecture to the Nuclear Princeton class. We dug through university archives, synthesized information already collected by Nuclear Princeton research fellows, and searched for indigenous art to create an interactive map on Re:Earth about the impacts of nuclear testing on indigenous communities. Our goal was to understand how knowledge moved, in the sense of how Princeton-scholar’s knowledge affected communities around the world. We explored themes of gatekeeping, colonization, and community/land erasure, and hope that this project can contribute to the Nuclear Princeton mission of raising awareness on nuclear violence and empowering indigenous voices. 

Click here to interact with our Re:Earth world.

Click here to see figures that we highlighted and used in the resources we have in the Re:Earth website.