Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Process part 2

Part 2
The pinkie ball.
Rubber, pink, resilient, $1.95.

So, the story goes like this, as told by Grandpa Jack: I was riding in a truck driving on an irrigation canal (at Gila River Canal Camp). It turned over and I broke my hands. Since then, I squeeze the ball to help heal my hands. If this didn’t happen, I would have had to join the Army like my brother Tsuk (Tsukasa Tanaka was a member of 100th Inf. BN, served in Italy and returned with an Italian wife, Maria).

This story stuck with me. And there it stayed until I recalled it after his death in 2007. So, if my grandparents can be seen as ‘typical’ of their generation, I was able to hear one story about the war years from only one of four grandfolks. Which begs a question, I know three people who didn’t pass on their experiences, of the other roughly 116,000 people how many didn’t say anything to their children and grand children?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Share the process

Hi Folks!

Hope you are all well.
This past Summer was a time for reflection.
I taught my first summer course- compressing 10 weeks of photo-chemical darkroom, documentary field-craft, and editing into five weeks.

I visited all the taquerias in the metro Santa Cruz area. My favorite so far is La Playa on Mission Street where the chicharon taco is the way to go!

I became more informed about 9-11 and the 9-11 Truth movement. Thus causing me to reflect on the Internment.
In early August, Crystal and I helped Shin Takeda and AjA Project volunteers install this year’s project: iN-Grain across the street from Market Creek Plaza in San Diego’s Diamond Re-development district.
iN+GraiN Gallery

It was Shin who recommended that I share the process, something that is amiss where documentary work is concerned. Audiences usually only see the finished product; a film, an installation, a radio piece. I hope this explanation is inspiration for future ideas and a source for further discourse and learning.
This is story is how I came to make the images: thought and execution.

Part 1:
Questioning Government’s motives for the Internment from a temporal distance is unfair at best. I have access to documents that would have been inside knowledge thus giving a different view of the events than someone living through them.
I am brought into the contemporary as I watch college freshmen move into UCSC’s multi college environment. What will be remembered of the Internment when the freshmen were born in 2007? How will 9-11 be remembered? These questions are tackled by those investing in cultural and social science research as intellectual property and commodity. I have come to understand this over the course of the last 18 years.

This destination for me started where those future freshmen will begin so many years from now.
I was a junior college freshman at El Camino in Torrance. Don Haydu was the professor- Cultural Pluralism was the class. It was my first academic foray into the Internment memory where I wrote a research paper on the Constitutionality of Internment, from an 18 year-old’s perspective with little research savvy. My findings went against all that I had come to understand about the U.S. Constitution and for what it stood. It was my first exposure to governmental and contradictory treatment of people who were ‘equal under the law’.

Internment was a shock to me. I asked why the government would do such. I was fascinated by the disregard for the Constitution and the upholding of legality of the forced movement by Supreme court decisions in Korematsu v. United States and the treatment of Frank Emi’s Fair Play Committee.

I spent the semester wading through newspaper articles at UCLA, the few books written, while smirking at Lillian Baker’s denial of the event as it happened. I made a few attempts at interviewing my grandparents who had been there. I got the most from my father’s father— champion bowler Jack Tanaka. A story about the ubiquitous pinkie ball that rested next to the sofa.