Kate Bachus has provided us with some information about the composition of “Twenty Views of Tanforan.” It deserves to be preserved here. One of Kate’s inspirations is a collection titled “Twenty Views of Manzanar.” The display is in PowerPoint, which I think is unfortunate: not everybody will be able to view it. However, the Virtual Museum of San Francisco sheds light on Tanforan itself and, more generally, on the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry.
In researching the story, I relied less on written primary sources and more on photos, which were far more truthful and telling than WRA reports and even interviews of internees, which typically are full of ambivalence and silences.
As Don surmised, I intended this to be like memory, or a collection of evidence photos, or a even collection of paintings. Like the WRA photos in the linked collection, above, I think each section has its own internal story and emotions, as important separately as all of them are together.
I’m glad it works for most folks... and am really gratified at the thoughtful discussion of the story here.
The story must be told. And when it’s told well, as in “Twenty Views of Tanforan,” the world is all the better for it. Bewildering Stories thanks you, Kate, for giving us the opportunity to be a part of it.
Copyright © 2003 by Don Webb, for Bewildering Stories