nexCafé #5 Voicing Marshlands – Rereading the potential of an undervalued ecosystem

Marshlands are fragile, complex, and ambiguous places. Particularly vulnerable to the
effects of global warming and agricultural interventions, they are symbolic of many other
threatened water bodies.
In the upcoming nexCafé event, Swissnex in Japan invites artist and composer Rahel Kraft to
present her sonic works of the marshes in Taiki, Hokkaido. In conversation with Yu Morishita
from Memu Earth Lab and Professor Toshiya Okuro, landscape ecology conservation and
restoration specialist at the University of Tokyo, we will take you to the underwater world of
the marshlands.

"Observing the underwater quietness, I started to question: why is there no life? Is it only
because of the season? Is it because of the complex environment of brackish water, slightly
salty water which needs lots of specialization? Or are these ecosystems in danger because of
intense agricultural activities just on the border of the water flow? It is tricky to think of any
trouble in these kinds of landscapes. The feeling of paddling through the wetlands around
Tokachi resembles climbing a mountain next to a vanishing glacier. The view of the
landscape is magical, and by mere sight, it’s easy to idolize, to focus on the solitude, the
colors, contrasts, and the deep blue water with its migrating birds. But unfortunately, there
is another truth. These wetlands were once five times bigger. In the past 100 years, wetlands
in Japan decreased by around 60%, and there is no single restriction on the use of pesticides
in Japan." - Rahel Kraft


  • 6:00pm – Welcome and Intro
  • 6:10pm – Performance by Rahel Kraft
  • 6:30pm – Flute piece and Presentation by Prof. Toshiya Okuro
  • 7:00pm – Panel Discussion with Q&A
  • 7:30pm – Networking reception

Event start time


Presented by

  • Swissnex in Japan
  • Vitality.Swiss
  • Institute of Industrial Science
  • ProHelvetia
  • nexCafé
  • SDGs
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities