Colors of Confinement: Rare Kodachrome Photographs of Japanese American Incarceration in World War II, edited by Eric L. Muller, with photographs by Bill Manbo
In 1942, Bill Manbo (1908-1992) and his family were forced from their Hollywood home into the Japanese American internment camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming. While there, Manbo documented both the bleakness and beauty of his surroundings, using Kodachrome film, a technology then just seven years old, to capture community celebrations and to record his family’s struggle to maintain a normal life under the harsh conditions of racial imprisonment. Colors of Confinement showcases sixty-five stunning images from this extremely rare collection of color photographs, presented along with three interpretive essays by leading scholars and a reflective, personal essay by a former Heart Mountain internee.
The subjects of these haunting photos are the routine fare of an amateur photographer: parades, cultural events, people at play, Manbo’s son. But the images are set against the backdrop of the barbed-wire enclosure surrounding the Heart Mountain Relocation Center and the dramatic expanse of Wyoming sky and landscape. The accompanying essays illuminate these scenes as they trace a tumultuous history unfolding just beyond the cameras lens, giving readers insight into Japanese American cultural life and the stark realities of life in the camps.
Eric L. Muller is Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor in Jurisprudence and Ethics at the University of North Carolina School of Law and director of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for Faculty Excellence. He is author of American Inquisition: The Hunt for Japanese American Disloyalty in World War II and Free to Die for Their Country: The Story of the Japanese American Draft Resisters in World War II.
This lecture is presented by the Institute for Arts and Humanities at UNC.
DATE: September 6, 2012
LOCATION: University Room, Hyde Hall, UNC