Creativity in Captivity: Photos of Resilience Inside the Camps | Link TV
Creativity in Captivity: Photos of Resilience Inside the Camps
It was a time of fear, distrust and war.
On February 19, 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in the name of national security. With a swipe of his pen, nearly 120,000 Japanese American lives were changed for generations to come. The order helped create military zones where people of Japanese ancestry — many of whom were American citizens — had their bank accounts frozen and were asked to leave their homes and businesses behind.
Given only a week to settle all their affairs (usually to avaricious business people looking to take advantage of their desperation), the Japanese in the United States were sent to relocation camps with just the belongings they could carry. This was a loss of monumental proportions in the face of hysteria and suspicion emanating from the rest of American society.
Living behind barbed wire fences without their possessions, the Japanese Americans still found a way to stay resilient, true grace under intense pressure. One of the ways they found release was through art, creating beauty in their harsh, deserted surroundings. “These are people who were immigrants. They got put in one-mile square area and they can’t get out,” said Delphine Hirasuna, author of “The Art of Gaman,” which beautifully illustrated the poignant work that came out of the camps. “Art became a way of release for them.”
The following photos are a glimpse of the dignity and strength of spirit that Japanese Americans demonstrated in those tumultuous times.
More Stories of the Japanese American Experience
Connect with Link TV
Top Image: Street scene with clouds at Manzanar Relocation Center, California | Ansel Adams via Densho.org
This season, "Artbound" explores how communities have fought to survive, to stay resilient by creating the art forms, forums and spaces they need to band together as communities, combat erasure and unapologetically express themselves.
Two documentarians on different continents follow migrants fleeing their homes to escape war and persecution, to seek refuge from environmental disasters or to find better economic opportunities for their families.
What happens when you graduate in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic that requires you to stay six feet away from everyone outside your household? For film students, it’s a mixed bag.
Access to clean water for drinking and household use remains a challenge in places as far apart as Mumbai, India and rural communities in West Virginia.
- 1 of 104
- next ›
From the typeface of “The Godfather” book cover to the Noguchi table, the influence of Japanese American artists and designers in postwar American art and design is unparalleled. Learn how the World War II incarceration affected their lives and creations.
"Artbound" looks at the dinnerware of Heath Ceramics and a design that has stood the test of time since the company began in the late 1940’s.
Inspired by Oaxacan traditions, Dia de Los Muertos was brought to L.A. in the '70s as a way to enrich and reclaim Chicano identity. It has since grown in proportions and is celebrated around the world.
Gospel music would not be what it is today if not for the impact left by Los Angeles in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a time defined by political movements across the country.
A behind-the-scenes look at the contemporary art world through the eyes of a legendary art dealer and curator, Jeffrey Deitch.
- 1 of 11
- next ›