UW's Heart Mountain symposium ties WWII internment to contemporary displacement issues - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW’s Heart Mountain symposium ties WWII internment to contemporary displacement issues

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Two small girls, whose grandparents came to the United States from Japan, play with clay toys in the nursery school at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center during WWII (Tom Parker, U.S. Department of the Interior file photo)

CASPER, Wyo — The history of Japanese American people incarcerated in Wyoming and other locations during World War II will be explored this October by the University of Wyoming (UW) Art Museum and American Studies Program, the university announced Tuesday.

“Conversations Beyond the Walls: A Virtual Symposium” aims to integrate arts with complex cultural issues and will feature a series of talks, presentations and art activations in conjunction with the exhibition “Moving Walls: Heart Mountain Barracks in the Big Horn Basin.”

UW said the series will address contemporary issues such as global human migrations and displacement, homesteading, resiliency, diversity, social justice, power and control, and empathy and belonging.

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All events are free; however, preregistration is required. See the end of this article for registration information.

Events are as follows:

— Thursday, Oct. 1, 5:30-7 p.m.: “Moving Walls: Past and Present,” a discussion of the history of World War II Japanese internment camps in the U.S. This presentation is part of the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research’s (WIHR) “Think and Drink” series.

— Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-noon: “Family Saturday Workshop: Tsuru Art Activation,” an in-person and virtual event that will feature folding paper cranes. The word “tsuru” is Japanese for crane.

— Wednesday, Oct. 7, noon-1 p.m.: “Lunch Hour Conversations with Curators: Moving Walls,” featuring photographer Stan Honda and Andrea Graham, an associate research scientist with the UW American Studies Program. Honda’s photographs are featured in the “Moving Walls” exhibition.

— Thursday, Oct. 8, 7-8:30 p.m.: “Heart Mountain Barracks Revisited,” a presentation and discussion on the Heart Mountain barracks and the process of their reuse in the Big Horn Basin after the closing of the camp.

— Thursday, Oct. 15, 7-8:30 p.m.: “Moving Walls,” a film screening and conversation with filmmaker Sharon Yamato and Honda.

— Thursday, Oct. 22, 7-8:30 p.m.: “No-No Boy: A Multimedia Presentation by Julian Saporiti,” featuring songs written about Heart Mountain as well as “For Joy,” a short film. Saporiti, from Nashville, earned his master’s degree in American studies from UW.

— Thursday, Oct. 29, 7-8:30 p.m.: “Storytelling for a Better World,” featuring Bacon Sakatani, a former Heart Mountain incarceree. Sakatani will be joined by Dakota Russell, executive director of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, and Aura Newlin, a board member of the foundation and also a UW alumna and Northwest College faculty member.

The symposium is sponsored by the UW American Heritage Center; UW American Studies Program; UW College of Law; UW Department of History; UW Honors College; UW Libraries; UW School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice; Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation; Homesteader Museum; and WIHR.

To register or for more information, go UW’s page here. Zoom links to the events will be provided.

Live captioning or transcription will be available during each event. Reasonable accommodation requests can be made before each event by calling Raechel Cook at (307) 766-3483 or emailing raechel.cook@uwyo.edu.

For more information about the UW Art Museum, call (307) 766-6622; visit the website at www.uwyo.edu/artmuseum; or follow the museum on Facebook and Instagram.

“The UW Art Museum collects, exhibits and interprets art to inspire creativity and nurture lifelong learning for the people of Wyoming and beyond,” UW said.

The museum is located in the Centennial Complex at 2111 E. Willett Drive in Laramie. Hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-noon are designated for at-risk visitors only. Admission is free.