|‘INTERNMENT’ SYMPOSIUM SLATED FOR APRIL 21 IN NEW MEXICO|
|March 11, 2012|
|SANTA FE, N.M. — A public symposium, “From Inside and Outside the Barbed Wire: New Mexico’s Multicultural World War II Internment Stories,” will be held Saturday, April 21, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 22, 1-4 p.m., at the New Mexico History Museum/Palace of the Governors, 113 Lincoln Ave., Santa Fe. |
Organized by the Committee to Preserve New Mexico’s Internment History, its purpose is to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the dedication of the Santa Fe Internment Camp (SFIC) Historical Marker in Santa Fe’s Frank S. Ortiz Park, and raise public awareness of the internment experience in New Mexico.
The two-day event will cost $15 and a limited number of discounted tickets for students will be available only at the box office. Tickets can be purchased through the Lensic Theater Box Office, (505) 988-1234, or www.ticketssantafe.org/tsf/content/about_tsf.
A New Mexico Centennial year event, the Symposium is co-sponsored by the New Mexico History Museum, the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the New Mexico Centennial Board, with a grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council. The New Mexico Community Foundation serves as the Committee’s Fiscal Agent.
The program will explore the experiences of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans detained in Department of Justice incarceration camps in New Mexico during WWII, focusing especially on the SFIC, which held 4,555 men over the course of the war. It will also examine the impressions such camps had on visitors and communities surrounding them.
“In other words, this symposium will seek to explore the human experience on either side of the barbed wire—through lectures, film, and performance,” said Dr. Gail Okawa, one of the conference organizers, “
Presenters include co-chairs Okawa and Nancy R. Bartlit, Dr. Richard A. Melzer, Brian Minami, Dr. Nikki N. Louis, retired USAF Col. Joe Ando, Bill Nishimura, Mollie Pressler and Kermit Hill. Nishimura is a survivor of the SFIC and several presenters are descendants of SFIC incarcerees. The historic symposium will be a rare chance for the community, scholars, and SFIC descendants to learn who the civilian detainees and former incarcerees were, how they passed their time, and how they were treated during wartime