Los Angeles, Calif. (Jan. 19, 2018) — As members of the Japanese American Confinement Site Consortium, the Japanese American National Museum and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation are co-hosting a screening of spoken word videos inspired by the Japanese American incarceration during World War II.
The film, reception and panel discussion with the filmmakers will take place 5:30 p.m. Feb. 17, 2018 at the JANM Tateuchi Democracy Forum, 100 North Central Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. The screening, discussion and reception are free, but RSVPs are required for entry via www.janm.org/events/2018/02/#
The videos were created at the 2017 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage by participants ranging in age from 16 to 75, in collaboration with filmmakers Jeff MacIntyre and David Ono. Featuring spoken word poetry, the videos touch on different aspects of the incarceration experience, from the ever-present sand to the seizure of land to love and commitment. With guidance from spoken word artist G Yamazawa, the workshop participants were able to bring their stories to life. The videos were filmed and edited in the span of just two days.
Immediately following the screening, there will be a reception hosted by the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium (Consortium), JANM, HMWF, and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). The reception will serve not only as a celebration of storytelling, but also as a welcome for the Consortium stakeholders who are meeting the next day to discuss the direction of the Consortium. The Consortium includes representatives from organizations across the country who together pledge to preserve and interpret the confinement sites, artifacts and experiences related to the WWII experience of Japanese Americans. The group also aims to elevate the social justice lessons from this history to highlight ways that civil and human rights abuses put at risk the rights of all Americans.
The Consortium has been in development for two years, and received additional funding from the National Park Service in 2017 to facilitate its efforts.
JANM is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to sharing the experience of Americans of Japanese ancestry. The JACL is a national organization whose mission is to secure and safeguard the civil and human rights of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and all communities affected by injustice and bigotry. The HMWF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that operates a museum and preserves the site of the “Heart Mountain Relocation Center” in Wyoming, where just over 14,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were wrongfully incarcerated during World War II.