Sunday 25th February 2018,

Japanese American

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Huff Post: The incarceration camps through the lens of Ansel Adams

posted by Randall

ManzanarOne of the greatest American photographers of all time was one of three people known to have documented life in the incarceration camps through pictures (photo by Ansel Adams, Library of Congress).

Ansel Adams was invited by Manzanar Camp Director Ralph Merritt to photograph life at the camp. He’s the only photographer to have taken pictures at Manzanar.

The pictures were published in his book Born Free & Equal: The Story of Loyal Japanese Americans.

He described his purpose this way.

“The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment…All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use.”

Others to photograph the incarceration camp experience were Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake, one of the 120,000 Japanese Americans imprisoned in the camps.
Why do I bring this up now? For no other reason than because I can. You can check out some of Adams pictures on the Huffington Post
You can also find a catalog of Adams photographs at Manzanar along with a teaching guide at the Library of Congress.

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