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Knowing our history is the first step in making sure we do not repeat it. By standing together against injustice, we can change the course of history. National Archives. Dorothea Lange, Woodland, California, May 20, Clem Albers, Arcadia, California, April 5, Drawing upon the powerful images culled from the book Un-American: The Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II by Chicago-based photo historians Richard Cahan and Michael Williams, the exhibition features works by renowned American photographers Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and others documenting the eviction of Japanese Americans from their homes and their subsequent lives in incarceration camps.
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These photographers were hired by the U. The JASC and a number of collectors from the Chicago area have generously lent art, objects, documents and other historical materials that provide glimpses into the personal experiences of those who were incarcerated. Highlights include ID cards and tags, anti-Japanese propaganda, suitcases, diaries, handmade furniture, wood carvings and other works of art, high school yearbooks and newsletters produced by camp inmates, military accoutrements, indefinite leave clearances, materials related to resettlement in Chicago and eventual redress and reparation.
Specially compiled video testimonies by former inmates, their family members and community leaders are installed throughout the exhibition. And the new documentary film And Then They Came for Us by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider, screened daily, makes explicit connections between the Japanese American incarceration story and current concerns with regard to the treatment of Muslims and Muslim Americans.
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Courtesy Stanley Oda. Photo by James Prinz.
First they came ...
The Oral History Studio is a private space within the gallery where visitors are invited to record their personal stories or reflections. An Alphawood Gallery staff member is available to interview visitors who are willing to share their histories and thoughts related to the themes and questions posed by Then They Came for Me.
Equipped with state-of-the-art audio and video recording equipment, the studio is available by walk-in during scheduled hours or by appointment. This groundbreaking exhibition underscored the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art.
It introduced and explored the whole spectrum of artistic responses to AIDS, from the politically outspoken to the quietly mournful, surveying works from the early s to the present. What does an American look like?
Who is welcome in this country? Alphawood Gallery is Closed. Gallery Text. Curatorial Committee.