Coldwater Creek Effigy
This is a sculpture based on the radioactive contamination of Coldwater Creek in St. Louis. A large amount of nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project was dumped next to this creek, and over the years, more than 6,000 cases of cancer have been reported along its banks. (disproportionately impacting black people)
The clay here is made directly from the radioactive dirt from the riverbank. The nuclear clay (contaminated with uranium, thorium, and plutonium) is then stuck with 6,000 capillary blood collection tubes, with each tube holding a small sample of contaminated water from different places along the river.
Scientists from WashU (my school) were directly involved with the manufacturing of the uranium in the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. People are still dying (both here in St. Louis and around the world) from America’s atomic legacy.