Abstract [draft January 2017]
Intern(ed) is an installation and durational performance devised from research about the former Tucson Federal Honor Camp established by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The project foregrounds past blurring of truths, states of anxiety and misguided judgements that resonate with our current socio-political, and physical, context in borderlands. Located within a naturally isolated basin in the Catalina Mountains, the site held war-resisters during WWII; lines of painted rocks indicated the prison’s limits. After the war, the facilities functioned as a youth rehabilitation center until it was demolished in the early 1970s. Today, the little that remains constitute both a historical trace and evidence of erasure of ‘a great wrong’. Renamed after its famous inmate Gordon Hirabayashi, today the site is a recreational campground.
As we investigate this and other sites of internment as palimpsests–their historical layering–we look into specific spatialities, materialities, and performances that reveal the erased traces of the internment of Japanese American communities and draw connections to current official discourse of othering. This project seeks to transform the historical archive (spatial and textual) into a living memory. By doing so, we hope to offer a space and time in which audiences are active critics of the present through an embodied awareness of the past. Our research and creative process is an exercise that calls attention to history’s tendency to repeat itself.
erasing + razing
Initial sketches for the durational performance environment
Intern[ed] is a collaboration between Beth Weinstein and Ana Martinez. The project’s conceptual framework and prototypes were shared at a research symposium (CAPLA at UA) in April 2017. Weaving of texts through a graphic essay “Othering + Othered” was published in [Trans-]ient 03 and Neuengamme erasure was performed at PSi#23 in Hamburg. We are currently planning community engagement workshops for autumn 2017, in including during a conference to be held at the UA Poetry Center Oct 19-21: Thinking Its Presence: The Ephemeral Archive
The durational installation/performance will occur in November 2017, in Tucson, Arizona.