Digital Storyteller / Photographer
Ari Beser, recipient of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, gathers stories from both sides of the World War II conflict to strengthen the path of peace and reconciliation between the United States and Japan.
Some connections are obvious while others are less so. Ari Beser, recipient of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, has spent the past five years exploring the connections in his own life, and how they have rippled across time and space. Ari’s paternal grandfather, Jacob Beser, was the only U.S. serviceman to have flown on each of the planes that dropped atomic bombs, first on Hiroshima, and then on Nagasaki in August, 1945. Twenty years later Ari’s maternal grandfather, a head tailor for a popular department store, worked with and befriended a Japanese seamstress, one of the “Hiroshima Maidens” who left Hiroshima seeking medical treatment in the United States for bomb-related wounds. What started as a happenstance, wartime connection in the lives of his grandfathers has reached deeply into Ari’s heart and life, inspiring him to seek out and share the testimonies of the atomic bomb survivors step towards peace and reconciliation.