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ERIC Number: ED478048
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"Moving Walls" across the "Common Ground" of the Japanese American National Museum: An Examination of a National Minority Museum's Strategy of Connecting American and Japanese Values.
Lain, Brian
An exhibit, "Common Ground: The Heart of Community," tells the story of Japanese Americans in the United States as an example of a vibrant ethnic group that survived hard times and continue to stay together. The exhibit is housed in the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles (California). This paper describes and discusses this exhibit and installations at JANM. The paper suggests that the museum, and in particular its centerpiece, a reconstructed World War II army barracks called, "Moving Walls," offers a temporal and geographic space to redress the trauma of Japanese American internment and create a new cultural hybrid positioned as the intersecting locale of actions taking place in differing temporal periods. The barracks forge a post-traumatic transhistorical space operating as a critical technology in the (re)articulation and (re)production of a Japanese American national community. It argues that the JANM's "Common Ground" exhibit attempts to displace the blame of national racism from American society in an effort to create an opening for allegiance and integration to the nation based on the presence of the museum. It comments on two problems in contemporary U.S. society and how they are dealt with in material culture: (1) the imagining of a place within the United States where Asian Americans can reside; and (2) coping with the national trauma of the internment of Japanese Americans in collective memory. (Contains 12 notes and 13 works references.) (BT)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A