One of the small group discussions during the 2019 Manzanar At Dusk program. (Photo by Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee)

Looking at different forms of resistance through the eyes, minds, and hearts of several artists will be the focus of the 2022 Manzanar At Dusk program, part of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, beginning at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, live and online via Zoom (videoconference).

The interactive Manzanar At Dusk program follows the 53rd annual Manzanar Pilgrimage that same day, premiering at 12 p.m. on the Manzanar Committee’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/manzanarcommittee.

Now in its 24th year, Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Manzanar Committee and the Nikkei Student Unions (NSU) at California Polytechnic University, Pomona; CSU Fullerton; CSU Long Beach; UCLA; UC Riverside; and UC San Diego.

The 2022 Manzanar At Dusk program will highlight several artistic forms of resistance during and after the unjust incarceration of Japanese/Japanese American in American concentration camps during World War II.

“Our student partners will highlight the works of artists from different periods in history, how they used their work to resist oppression and racism, and look at that as possible inspiration for what’s going on today,” said coordinator Jason Fujii.

Students have always played a significant role in the Manzanar At Dusk program, and that commitment has deepened over the last 11 years.

“Manzanar At Dusk is important for us and our members because it creates a space for us to share and connect our experiences with others in the community,” said Brooke Oto of the CSUF Nikkei Student Union. “Talking about stories and memories allows our history to continue.

“The Manzanar Pilgrimage allows you to see a little of what the living conditions and everyday life in the camps was like. But Manzanar At Dusk allows you to see it in the context of what is happening in your own community, and what we are going through now. It connects the past to the present.”

“We have delved deeply into the personal accounts of former incarcerees, and we’ve developed the necessary vocabulary and skills to teach this to others,” said Yua Watanabe of the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA. “We believe Manzanar At Dusk is crucial to educating others, especially the next generation, on the importance of remembering and learning from Japanese American history so that what happened to our community during World War II is not repeated.”

Student organizers stressed that Manzanar At Dusk is not just for Japanese Americans, or only for young people.

“People of all ages and backgrounds have something to gain from Manzanar At Dusk, whether that is simply an educational experience, or a way to connect with the community,” said Charlene Tonai Din of the Nikkei Student Union at UCLA. “As young Japanese Americans, we feel that learning about Manzanar and Japanese American history has allowed us to explore more of what it means to be of Japanese ancestry in America. This exploration of identity can be extended to people of all backgrounds, as we all navigate how to define ourselves and discover our roles in fighting injustice.

“While the program specifically addresses Japanese American incarceration at Manzanar, we will connect these experiences and historical events to contemporary issues, affecting diverse communities.”

Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk event are free and open to the public. Registration is required for Manzanar At Dusk. To register, go to: https://forms.gle/kM9Jjh6cBiVmdEE18.

For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or send email to info@manzanarcommittee.org.

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