PORT TOWNSEND — The images in the “Manzanar: Their Footsteps Remain — 40 Years of Photography” collection are stark, desolate, haunting and poignant, say organizers of the Northwind Arts Center exhibit now on display through Nov. 29.
Exhibit hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday or by appointment.
Documented over 40 years by Port Townsend photographer Brian Goodman, the photographs recall the U.S. government’s actions against Japanese-American citizens and immigrants during World War II.
Manzanar in the Owen Valley of California, was one of 10 “war relocation centers” created after President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942, two months after the Pearl Harbor attack.
The order had the Secretary of War “relocate” nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans and immigrants from their homes into what served as concentration camps for anyone with Japanese heritage.
“Like pottery shards discovered in an archaeological dig, they give us clues to the story of a people who experienced intolerable indignities, fear and racism while struggling for survival,” according to a press release.
Between 1942 and 1945, over 11,000 men, women and children were forcibly removed to Manzanar with only the possessions that they could carry. About two-thirds were U.S. citizens, exhibit organizers said.
The living area consisted of 36 blocks of wooden barracks for the incarcerees and various administrative facilities, encircled by barbed wire fences and security guard towers with searchlights, and patrolled by armed U.S. soldiers.
Goodman, who was born in Los Angeles in 1957, has been creating photographs for over 50 years. As a child, he photographed national parks during family vacations using a Kodak Hawkeye Instamatic camera. Later he graduated to a 35mm camera.
He studied photographic arts and graphic design at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design in Jerusalem, Israel, and Otis/Parsons School of Art & Design in Los Angeles. In 1987, he opened his first professional photo studio in Pasadena, Calif. Later, he incorporated as Public Works Productions, Inc., moving his full-service commercial photography and design studio to a 6,000-square-foot building in nearby Altadena.
His fine art photography has focused on many varied genres, including scenic and landscape images; photo-journalistic portraits of life in the Middle East, Europe, North, Central and South America; and historical photographic studies of the human experience.
He lives with his wife, Shira, who served as consultant, co-researcher, co-writer and editor on this project; and their black lab, Shooshi.
For more information, see northwindarts.org.