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APAHM 2018: Intimate Archives: Lecture on Japanese-Canadian Internment Camp (DICE)


Time: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Location: MCC Alonso Family Room

Join Asian American Studies, Dr. Namiko Kunimoto, on a lecture on "Japanese-Canadian Internment Camp."

Anthony Cohen, in The Symbolic Construction of Community, writes: “the symbolic expression of community and its boundaries increases in importance as the actual geo-social boundaries of the community are undermined, blurred or otherwise weakened.” As Japanese-Canadians were uprooted from familiar communities throughout British Columbia and overwhelmed with the loss of those closest to them, photography was employed to recenter themselves within a stable, yet somewhat imaginative, network of relations. Looking became an act of imaginative exchange with the subject - conflating the act of seeing with the act of knowing. Photographs became “the most cherished possession” at a time when all else familiar had been lost. It is my contention that domestic photographs and albums produced at this time worked to construct, preserve and contain the visual and imaginative narrative of cohesive family stability and communal belonging, despite divisive political differences, disparate geographical living situations, and elapsed family traditions. While acknowledging that photographs construct and embody a multiplicity of meanings, I am interested in the ways Japanese- Canadian albums were employed during the internment to foster a sense of place while internees existed in a liminal or transitional, marginal space. These representations attempt (and of course sometimes fail) to authenticate a seemingly cohesive biography. “Intimate Archives” seeks to situate domestic photographs of Japanese-Canadians during the 1942- 1949 exile as intersecting with historical crisis and subjective narrative, tracing the possibilities of meaning for both the depicted subjects and the possessor of the images.

This event also counts for 1 DICE Credit toward your DICE Certificate. More information about DICE and how to earn credits can be found here:

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