within reach: killing field

spiderweb © kjm

I've been away for weeks, and returned to find this spiderweb constellation in my bedroom window. It's good to know someone was working so hard in my absence.

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


100 cents: jonathan blaustein on collect.give

one dollar’s worth of tomatillos from Mexico © Jonathan Blaustein

I'd be willing to bet that many of us have a dollar's worth of change in our couch. Jonathan Blaustein's series The Value of a Dollar examines the value of what goes into our mouths, in a simple, straightforward and aesthetically lovely manner. Last week, Jonathan offered this print on collect.give, with all proceeds pledged to the UN World Food Programme.


irish gig

mom on the beach in Kona, around 1955

In our family, we tell stories about the hams on my mom's father's side of the family, and it's by no means a criticism. There's a respected entertaining chutzpah that runs throughout, and my mom is no exception. When she was in her 20's, she taught the hula to young girls in Hawaii. This week, she performed for an Irish American club in Milwaukee, which was having their annual party with a Hawaiian theme. By all accounts, she was a hit, performing a few single numbers and then teaching the group how to do the hukilau. When I arrived to pick her up, the club didn't seem to want to let her go.



Cannon Beach © kjm

I went from shooting Camp Home pictures, to the Tule Lake pilgrimage, and ended my travels this week at a family reunion on the Oregon Coast. Members of my mom's family came from Hawaii, Oregon, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for the event. It was nice to catch up with everyone and to meet a few new additions to the group. For me, the highlight of the reunion came during a beach dinner and bonfire (that's us in the foreground), when my Uncle Stuart pulled out his ukulele and entertained the group.


amy eckert on collect.give

© Amy Eckert

Last week, photographer Amy Eckert offered up this lovely print from her series Manufacturing Home on collect.give. 100% of the proceeds will benefit the organization Feminist Eclectic Martial Arts. And buyers of any print during the month of July will be eligible for a free copy of Susana Raab's book, Rank Strangers, through our new book giveaways...



4525Z-19617 (hinge)
© kjm



train tracks leading to Newell, CA © kjm

I didn't have an agenda for the Tule Lake Pilgrimage this weekend, but had hoped to ask Nisei (second generation, American-born Japanese Americans who were children or young adults during the camp) I met about their particular home within the barracks. I never really got around to that, though, because everyone's background and camp history was so interesting. The variety of stories was surprising, and I learned that each family, though interned in the same camp, had uniquely compelling histories.

Among the stories, I learned about: A woman whose most vivid memory was taking their dog to the pound before leaving for camp; A family who hastily moved to an inland California location in hopes of avoiding evacuation, only to move again when interned; A woman who caught pneumonia at age 4 in an assembly center (locations where families were sent prior to internment camps) and due to security issues, was treated in a local hospital for days without a parent or guardian; Stories about burning prized family possessions because they were Japanese; A woman who happened to have been born on December 6, 1941.

But the sadness associated with some of the stories didn't dictate the tone of the weekend. It was an incredibly friendly group and conversations were made easily, in an environment that felt comfortable, uplifting and therapeutic, all at once.


native americans

5058A-19617 (native americans) © kjm


shed light

5052A-19617 (shed light) © kjm

My titles for Camp Home are a combination of two numbers: the number that represents the location it was shot - so in the photo above, 5052 is the number that was assigned to the particular homestead farm property. That number is combined with 19617, which is the number the government gave my family during the internment.

In just my first hour at the Tule Lake Pilgrimage, I learned the number associated with the barrack and actual space my family resided in: 5903b. After so much time thinking about this specific place, it's somewhat amazing to put an "address" to a place that I've only imagined.


sun tea

5056A-19617 (sun tea)
© kjm

After three days of shooting, I'll be joining the annual Tule Lake Pilgrimage today, a gathering of former camp internees, their offspring and others. Nearly 400 people arrive today on buses from cities along the West Coast, for weekend of remembering, visiting and education. I expect to learn a lot about the camp experience in the days to come, and look forward to meeting lots of people. In particular, I'm hoping to talk with former internees about what their physical living space was like in their assigned barracks.



5103A-19617 (horse hair) © kjm