CREEFCentre for Research in European Economics and Finance (Loughborough University; UK)
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Elena Tajima Creef also suggests that scholars need to look more closely at women's experiences in the camps.
Elena Tajima Creef writes that all the twentieth-century commercial films about the internment used "white American masculinity" as their central subject.
(65.) Elena Tajima Creef, The Gendering of Historical Trauma in Internment-Camp Documentary: The Case of Steven Okazaki's Days of Waiting, in COUNTERVISIONS: ASIAN AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM 171 n.2, supra note 42.
(82.) CREEF, supra note 37, at 100 (quoting Glen Masato Mimura) (internal quotes omitted).
Anticipating these challenges, the astute introduction, "written collectively" by Floyd Cheung, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and editors Creef and Robinson (xxxii), reminds readers to view Tamagawa's choices within the historical moment and social milieu in which she lived.
Imaging Japanese America interrogates how race and gender skew who can look and who must be the object of such looking and aims to show how specific Japanese American artists and writers have exercised the privileges and burdens of being "the one who looks." Creef's multiply layered readings of specific case studies also complicate this dualistic frame by detailing important differences and inequalities within each position of looking and being looked at.
In contrast to what she labels as Adams's "heroic mode" of representing both the internees and the surrounding landscape, Creef distinguishes Dorothea Lange's photographs of the internment as framed by a "tragic" mode of representation.
Another illuminating aspect of Creef's analysis is how she places Lange's photographs of Japanese Americans in multiple configurations of intertextuality but also representational contestation.
Creef expands further on the significance of ethnic positioning in the third section of the chapter on the photographs of Toyo Miyatake, a Japanese American photographer who was interned at Manzanar and smuggled in enough parts to construct a makeshift camera disguised as a lunchbox.
Against the images of this trio of photographers, the following chapter focuses on Mine Okubo's Citizen 13660, which Creef categorizes as a "visual autobiography." As "a participant and an observer," Okubo's sketches depict scenes of crowding and squalor that elude even Lange's sympathetic vision and contest the heroic and tragic binds of representation with a "subversive gaze" and ironic written commentary, which are attuned to gendered differences and hierarchies in the camps (80).
Even as Creef distinguishes Okubo as an "independent artist" whose "sketch pad and imagination can freely travel through the public and private spaces of the camp capturing scenes that no photographer would have access to" (83), she is also careful to avoid the problem of fetishizing this text as the authentic representation of the internment.
(75) Creef also points to how Citizen 13660 has been understudied because its combination of drawings and sparse text defies boundary distinctions between genres, media, and scholarly disciplines so much so that it is marginalized even in key studies of Asian American literature.