Then They Came for Me, an exhibit at the Alphawood Gallery in Chicago, examines the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII and the demise of civil liberties. The exhibit reminds us of the importance of remaining vigilant in our opposition to a Muslim registry.
The exhibit presents a painful and difficult episode in the history of the United States when the federal government forcibly removed and imprisoned thousands of American citizens without due process simply for being born Japanese American. Through an exploration of art, artifacts and programming, Then They Came for Me will invite comparisons between this dark chapter in America’s past and current political events.
Then They Came for Me will be unveiled in multiple phases in 2017. It will open with a major installation of photographs by several noted American photographers, including Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange, documenting the eviction of Japanese Americans and permanent Japanese residents from their homes and their subsequent lives in incarceration camps. Adams, Lange and others were hired by the U.S. Government’s War Relocation Authority to document the “evacuation” and “internment” of Japanese Americans along the West Coast. Lange left the program after three months, and some of her photographs, which revealed her growing unease with the circumstances she encountered, were impounded by the military for the duration of the war.
This exhibition is free and open to the public. The Alphawood Gallery is located at 2401 N. Halsted Street, Chicago.