More than 110,000 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes at the start of World War II and transported to desolate detention centers after President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in early 1942.
For more than a decade, Pulitzer Prize-winning Sacramento Bee photographer Kitagaki has been reliving the incarceration. His parents and grandparents were part of that group, but they never talked about their experience. To better understand, Kitagaki tracked down the subjects of more than 60 photographs taken by Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and other noted photographers.
His book, “Behind Barbed Wire,” is a result of that work, which took Kitagaki on a 10-year pilgrimage around the country photographing survivors of camps. Using black-and-white film and a large-format camera similar to the equipment of photographers in the 1940s, Kitagaki sought to mirror and complement photographs taken during World War II, while revealing the strength and perseverance of the subjects.
Join Kitagaki and The Bee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman as they explore the experience of incarcerated Japanese Americans. Some lost everything; some found new direction. Kitagaki heard stories about heroic soldiers and those unwilling to fight for a country that put them behind barbed wire. Each person has something to say. Each adds their unique personal history. They all are determined to make sure it never happens again.
Tickets are $10. Proceeds benefit Career Online High School and The Bee’s News in Education.
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