If we haven’t already forgotten our nation’s World War II-era internment camps, we speak of them only in hushed tones. Even in the eight Western communities where the camps once stood, their memory is lost, rolled up and stowed away like old chain-link fence.
A new exhibit
touring North Dakota, "Snow Country Prison: Interned in North
Dakota," delivers a chilling collection of haiku, photographs and
essays in a timely reminder of how wartime "detainees" at Fort
Lincoln Internment Camp endured a life apart.
The sparsely documented history of the Fort
Lincoln Internment Camp has long been limited to a small collection
of official photographs that idyllically depict internees busy at
craftwork or at play, ski jumping and playing hockey. However, in
the 14 months that a young Japanese-American named Itaru Ina lived
at Fort Lincoln, he produced a collection of melancholy haiku that
reveals far more than do the lenses of the government cameras. His
work is available for the first time in a free 16-page companion
tabloid to the exhibit.
Contact the North Dakota Museum
of Art, P.O. Box 7305, Grand Forks, ND 58202; 701-777-4195;