On the Day of Remembrance, February 19, we honor the experiences and memories of Japanese American communities affected by the World War II incarceration and its legacy, and reflect on lessons that this grave injustice holds for us today.
On February 19, admission is free. At 2 pm, join us for a tour of the Museum. At 3 pm, artist Maya Jeffereis along with members of the New York Day of Remembrance Committee will lead a durational reading of Isamu Noguchi’s essay “I Become a Nisei” in the museum galleries. A roundtable conversation about the text will immediately follow the reading.
Advance reservations are recommended; walk-up tickets will be available based on museum capacity. If you are a member of the Japanese American community and would like to make a group reservation for the program, please email email@example.com.
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About the Reading
On February 19, 1942, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal and imprisonment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast—nearly two-thirds of whom were American citizens by birth—in ten concentration camps in desolate areas of the country through the duration of World War II.
Isamu Noguchi was exempt from incarceration as a resident of New York, but he voluntarily entered the Poston, Arizona, camp in an effort to help fellow Japanese Americans, a community that he had previously little known or identified with, but “of whom because of war I had suddenly become a part.” He wrote of his experiences and observations in the camp, where he would remain for six months, in an unpublished essay intended for Reader’s Digest titled “I Become a Nisei.”
About Maya Jeffereis
Maya Jeffereis is an artist working in video, performance, and installation whose work seeks to expand upon overlooked histories and archival gaps through counter and personal narratives, offering both critical perspectives and speculative possibilities. Jeffereis’ work has been presented in the United States and internationally, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Brooklyn Museum, and Queens Museum, among others. Jeffereis is a recipient of the A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship and Cisneros Initiative for Latin American Art. She has been a participant in Asia Art Archive in America’s Leadership Camp and an artist-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC), Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, and Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. She is currently a 2023 The Bronx Museum of the Arts AIM fellow and an artist-in-residence at The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts SHIFT Program.