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    Displaced But Not Defeated.

    by Rebekah Pfrimmer 07/19/2018 09:05 PM BST

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          Regarding the Internal Displacement Art Challenge, I chose to focus on internal displacement that happened within the United States. I wanted the focal point of my image to be centered on Executive Order 9066, which gave the United States military permission to designate areas which Japanese people would be excluded and placed into internment camps within the United States. This Executive order is part of Washington State history as well because Bainbridge Island was one of the first locations which Japanese people were removed from their homes on March 24th, 1942. According to Ott (2007), 227 Japanese people were removed from their homes on Bainbridge Island, put on a ferry to Seattle, and from there were loaded onto a train headed directly towards a concentration camp in California called Manzanar. For my Displacement Art Challenge, I wanted to focus on the concept of identity. The right half of my image depicts a Japanese-American woman who is well off, well taken care of, and well groomed. She takes pride in her appearance and shows her heritage proudly by displaying jade beads in her hair. She is happy to have immigrated to America because she was able to marry a man of her choice, rather than a preselected suitor to satisfy the desires of her family. Unfortunately for this woman, she would soon have to leave her new American husband behind. Her Japanese heritage was targeted, and she was sent to a concentration camp on the opposite end of the Country, only six months after immigrating. The left side of my image depicts her life during Manzanar. She no longer has her fresh-faced look, as all of her valuables including her personal care items were confiscated. She has been subject to arduous labor, and neglect, among many other waves of abuse. Her silky black hair has slowly been accumulating more silver strands, and her lips have gone dry with thirst. Her once manicured eyebrows have gone wild, and the shine in her eyes has dimmed. I chose to have the lotus alive and thriving on both sides of the image because the lotus is known for its ability to bloom in murky waters, thus it is revered in Japanese culture as a symbol of perseverance and enlightenment. Although this woman lives in dark times, her inner light has still not been lost, so the lotus will continue to bloom.

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          Rebekah Pfrimmer

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