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あの山 (That Mountain)

Work in progress. Part film, part comic; あの山 follows Nikkei identity within and beyond WWII internment.

(Nikkei: diapsora from present day “Japan,” inclusive of Zainichi Koreans and Ainu and Ryukyuan indigenous groups.)

*content warning: flashing lights / images, graphic images, violence*

Old woman approaching Mt. Whitney, a defining visual monument recalled by Manzanar incarcerees.

As though children only could handle such pain, the youngest grandchild unpacks her grandmother’s life for her.

WWII japanese-american incarceration captivates nuances of racism, nationalism, and displacement in both our present and past; Japanese-national and Japanese-American; oppressor and oppressee. あの山 explores intergenerational trauma in the younger Nikkei generations.

We accompany Nikkei as they learn about their familial history, their countries’ imperial histories, its contentious relationships with other cultures, the mechanics of orientalism and racial fetishization... how Nikkei are complicit within these systems, and how Nikkei may access these experiences to address the material conditions of today.

Flashing images of past and present wartime associations; left. Flashing images of colonial statues; right.

Work in progress comic strips.