Architecture of Internment: The Build Up to Wartime Incarceration
This traveling exhibit highlights the role of Oregonians in the decision to incarcerate Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants. 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, were incarcerated during World War II.
In this exhibit you will see:
- Personal letters and proclamations from Oregonians to Governor Sprague in 1941 and 1942, advocating for the exclusion and incarceration of Oregonian Japanese Americans.
- The Oregon Governor’s response to these letters and proclamations revealing his changing position under political and social pressure.
- Blueprints of potential “Assembly Center” and “Relocation Camp” locations such as race tracks and fairgrounds.
- Letters from Japanese Americans expressing outrage about the injustice.
Scheduled exhibit locations range from the Oregon Historical Society, APANO, the annual Oregon farmworker convention at PCUN and the Muslim Educational Trust to a rural tour with Rural Organizing Project throughout Oregon.
The exhibit is available for use in Oregon and around the country. For more information, contact info(at)grahamstreetproductions.com
What people are saying about this exhibit:
"What Graham Productions has done is more important than merely constructing an exhibit for viewing. They have constructed a story line and have captured a time in history. Most importantly they have produced something that generates emotion, and strong emotion by the viewer, and just as importantly it generates a sensitivity and a care and concern for these people who suffered."
- Matt Stringer, Four Rivers Cultural Center
"I am amazed by the depth of the research in this presentation. As someone who is familiar with much of the material, I learned more about the widespread involvement of business, citizen's groups and governmental agencies in expelling Oregonians from their homes."
- Valerie Otani, public artist
"It is so heartbreaking and terrifying and so, so important to bear witness to the tragedies of history and today."
- Sherilyn Waxler, immigration attorney
"It made us better understand our own individual histories and allowed us to connect with other communities who have faced discrimination and adversity. Made us feel more connected as API's!"
- Kathy Wai, APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon)
"It was very moving and emotional."
- Roan Brady, high school student
"It is so thoughtfully put together. So, so stirring, infuriating and empowering to have this all in one place. A tremendous wealth of information is here - and it is devastating and necessary."
- Stephanie Adams-Santos, artist and arts advocate
"The exhibit had tremendous educational value. Many students had assumed that people were uncomfortable with the prospect of Japanese American internment, when in reality, much of the population supported FDR's order. Overall, it was a great experience for the students and one they won't soon forget."
- Peter Gallagher, high school teacher
"Even more surprising and shocking was to learn, for the very first time, of the petition letter written by Reverend Inouye (the minister who baptized everyone in my family in Hood River, Oregon). My parents and grandfather's signatures were on that petition. No one who is alive in my family is aware of this petition or that members of our family and neighbours had signed it. The signatures on a letter, begging the Governor of Oregon to spare them from his racist policies, made me aware of the desperation my parents felt at the time of their imminent expulsion from their home in America."
- Diana Morita Cole, Author of Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit
The Oregonian: Pilgrimage Marks Anniversary of Japanese Internment
The Argus Observer: Exhibit shows Japanese-Americans' internment 'built on widespread racism'