Art in Incarceration: Artistry in the Japanese American Internment Camps
Forty years ago, Northeastern Illinois University was the center for a hearing to force the federal government to acknowledge acts of racism with the hope that an apology and monetary compensation to redress these acts would follow. While successful for the Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated during World War II, systemic racism continues to be at the cornerstone in much of America’s immigration, criminal justice, employment and housing practices. For people of color, racism continues to be a fact of daily life. The University is proud to house the Japanese American Redress Collection which contains both the video testimonials and their transcripts from the Redress hearings.
In September of 2021, Northeastern Illinois University hosted a conference titled With Liberty and Justice for All: Racism, Redress, and Reparations, A Conference Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Redress Hearings. As part of the 40 year anniversary of the Chicago Redress Hearings, art made in the internment camps by forcibly imprisoned Japanese Americans was photographed and mounted for a digital exhibit. This exhibit is an opportunity to consider artwork and the stories of those Japanese Americans unjustly interned during World War II.