Protest Letters: Then and Now

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Saturday, February 12, 2022

Panel discussion 1pm start
Workshop 2pm start

Free event
Hosted on Zoom

A discussion and workshop for Writing Wrongs

Writing Wrongs: Japanese Canadian Protest Letters of the 1940s is an online exhibit based on letters written by Japanese Canadians protesting their dispossession.

On Saturday, February 12, join us in reflecting on this legacy in a virtual panel discussion featuring community members who have participated in Writing Wrongs

You will get a behind-the-scenes introduction to the exhibit by Project Manager Carolyn Nakagawa, Senior Creative Content Producer / Lead Creative Director Susanne Tabata, and Graphic Designer / Art Director John Endo Greenaway. Hear from community members Laura Fukumoto, Brent Hirose, Kirsten McAllister, Carmel Tanaka, and Tosh Kitagawa as they speak about their personal relationship to this history as well as its significance today.

Following the discussion, there will be a workshop led by Carmel Tanaka about writing letters of protest.

The NNMCC is a gathering place, where commitment to a diverse community, and values of inclusiveness, compassion and humility foster open dialogue and encourage the exploration of complex issues in a respectful environment. 
The views and opinions expressed by participants, panelists, and attendees are those of the individuals making said statements, and do not represent the views or opinions of the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre. 

Hosting this online program and providing a platform to discuss complex issues and diverse ideas, does not constitute an endorsement by NNMCC or its officials of comments made by any individual participants, panelists, and attendees. 

About Writing Wrongs

During the 1940s, the Canadian government seized and sold the property of Japanese Canadians without their consent. Based on a collection of more than 300 letters protesting this injustice, Writing Wrongs brings to life the story of Japanese Canadian internment and dispossession during the Second World War, along with a powerful and moving exploration of citizenship, justice, and equal rights.

Writing Wrongs is the culmination of 4 years of dedicated coordination between academic, museum, and community council partners of the Landscapes of Injustice (LOI) research + public history project. The Nikkei National Museum was tasked to find funding to produce a significant digital exhibit on a file of letters of protest that was part of the research of LOI, and thanks to Digital Museums Canada and advice from the Royal British Columbia Museum, the NNM landed a significant project fund which enabled the museum to invite Tabata Productions and NGX Interactive to help co-produce this online exhibit. Project-led by NNM Director|Curator Sherri Kajiwara and project-managed by Education Program Developer Carolyn Nakagawa, who worked closely with the immensely talented digital content creator Susanne Tabata and the technical experts at NGX who both managed their respective complex teams, Writing Wrongs will remain accessible to the public for the next decade. The online exhibit launched in March 2021.

About the workshop

Writing protest letters can be a powerful tool of resilience. Join Carmel Tanaka in writing a letter of your choosing – perhaps to a MLA/MP or to an ancestor who wrote a protest letter – about a cause or issue close to your heart in a 45-minute workshop. Creative forms of expression such as visual arts, music and mixed media are also welcomed. Participation is voluntary, as is sharing the fruits of our labour in the workshop.

Carmel Tanaka is a queer neurodivergent Jewpanese woman of colour from Vancouver on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is a community engagement professional and her leadership initiatives include: JQT Vancouver, Genocide Prevention BC, and Cross Cultural Walking Tours. She is the granddaughter of interned Japanese Canadians on her father’s side and Holocaust survivors on her mother’s side.