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We are a College Writing R4B Class focused on studying the Japanese Internment.


Instructor: Patricia Steenland

Students: Sarah Cortas, Daniel Garcia, Aivant Goyal, Chris Iba, Quinn Iverson, Nikhil Jain, Capri Krug, Kevin Li, Amy Oh, Ryan Searcy, Julia Tjan, and Michelle Zhou


With the Creativity Discovery Grant from the Art + Design Program at UC Berkeley, our College Writing R4B: Images of History class endeavored to create a project that brings awareness and visibility to the Japanese American internment, an event that is often brushed over in history classes or lost in the context of World War II. Particularly, our goal was to make it clear that there were over 500 UC Berkeley students who were forcibly removed from campus and interned, preventing them from finishing their degrees completely altering their lives.


We designed and installed three life-sized acrylic laser cut images of UC Berkeley students and faculty whose lives intersected the events of internment: Yoshiko Uchida, a Cal undergraduate who was interned at Topaz and went on to become a prominent writer, Mine Okubo, another interned Cal undergraduate who became a well-known artist, and Monroe Deutsch, the Provost at the time who fought for those who were interned.


Our installation will place these figures in locations on campus where they would have commonly studied or worked. We aimed to integrate these figures in such a way to where they are visible and part of life on campus, essentially reflecting the fact that one minute they were students with lives resembling our own, and the next, they were secluded and subject to mass constitutional rights violations. We are excited to honor these members who have left an indelible mark on our community, and it is our hope that this project brings recognition to their life’s work and perseverance in the face of nefarious circumstances.

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