The workshop will provide information and context for the library exhibition, “Reclaiming Manzanar,” but will also reclaim “buried histories” by allowing the audience to gain skills in community storytelling. The workshop will be object-based: participants are invited to focalize on an object that can initiate conversations about their experiences and how they intersect with wider histories.
Historian Emily Anderson will facilitate the workshop, and prominent Asian American community members/activists Martin Wong and Mary Uyematsu Kao will model the storytelling. Wong will highlight the skateboard used in the “Skate Manzanar” documentary. Kao will discuss the ways in which she documented the 1960s/1970s Asian American movement and the Second Pilgrimage to Manzanar through photography.
Emily Anderson is an independent scholar and curator, presently working with the Japanese American National Museum. Some of her major projects include curator and manager of On My Honor: Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in American Concentration Camps and catalog editor and exhibit consultant of Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City and São Paulo. She majored in literature and philosophy at Claremont McKenna College in 2000 and completed a Ph.D. in Japanese history at UCLA. She’s also held positions at Occidental College, Washington State University and University of Auckland. She has published articles largely on Christianity in Japan.
Mary Uyematsu Kao was a student and community activist during the 1970s Asian American Movement. As a film student in the UCLA Ethnocommunications program, she documented the Asian American Movement through photography. She attended the 2nd Pilgrimage to Manzanar while in film school and documented it through photographs. Kao worked as the publications coordinator for the UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press for 30 years, designing and publishing Amerasia Journal and other publications, such as Asian Americans: The Movement and the Moment and Passing It On—A Memoir by Yuri Kochiyama. She is newly retired and working on a self-published book of her Asian American Movement photographs and personal narrative of the experience. Mary also writes for the Rafu Shimpo (Japanese American daily newspaper) “Through the Fire” column.
Martin Wong is the co-founder of Save Music in Chinatown and Giant Robot magazine. Martin is a third-generation Los Angeleno who helped launch zine Giant Robot in 1994 about Asian movies, art, comics, toys, junk food, and other stuff that wasn't cool yet. Over 16 years and 68 issues, it grew into a full-color glossy magazine with worldwide readership and shops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City. More recently, he has started a series of all-ages DIY matinees to support Chinatown's public elementary school and carry on the punk rock tradition of the neighborhood where his grandparents, in-laws, and daughter have made their places. Other gigs have included editing high school textbooks, contributing to various magazines and zines, and working as a skipper on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. He graduated from UCLA and uses his English degree every day.
Reception will follow.
Sponsors: The Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS); The Claremont Colleges Library; the Dean of Faculty, the Asian Studies Program, the Pacific Basin Institute (PBI), the Draper Center, the Asian American Resource Center (AARC), and the Departments of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College; the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS) at Pitzer College; and EnviroLab Asia.