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Manzanar: Tracing Shadows of Oppression Across Time and Space

Image-Maker Presentation

Saturday, November 04 - 11:20AM to 11:35AM
Lake Room, Granlibakken Conference Center

The fear of internment of Muslim Americans prompted me to visit Manzanar, CA, the site of the US's largest Japanese concentration camp. Upon encountering the landscape I was reminded of Afghanistan--the mountains against the blue sky, the dry earth, but also the landscape of forgetting. Whether it is the incarceration of Japanese Americans or the US's longest war in Afghanistan, injustices are made invisible or forgotten.

Manzanar has been the site of multiple oppressions, including extracting 1,000 Paiute Indians to make way for farmers and ranchers in 1863, and forcing ranchers and miners to relocate when the City of Los Angeles purchased the water rights to the area in 1929.

Standing in Manzanar meant standing at the intersection of these histories of aggression. Tracing my own shadow with the searching words of Afghan American poet, Sahar Muradi, I created a 4-channel video entitled "My shadow is a word writing itself across time."


Gazelle Samizay
Gazelle Samizay

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