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Karen Ishizuka

Karen L. Ishizuka is a third-generation American of Japanese descent who was part of the Asian American movement in Los Angeles. She is the author of Lost and Found: Reclaiming the Japanese American Incarceration, as well as many published articles, and coeditor of Mining the Home Movie: Excavations in Histories and Memories, and most recently, Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties (Verso, 2016). An award-winning documentary film producer and museum curator, she helped establish the Japanese American National Museum and received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Karen Ishizuka

You Are Here, 2018

Billboard installation

Courtyard, Japanese American National Museum


As an assertion of the past on the present, Karen Ishizuka presents her billboard You Are Here, originally shown as part of For Freedoms 50 State Initiative. The current day hashtag #YouAreHere, in this archival photograph of wall-to-wall inmates in one of America’s WWII concentration camps for Japanese Americans, reminds us of America’s continuing legacy of mass incarceration and that I am You, They Are Us and You Too Can Be/Are/Will be Here. Photograph courtesy of the Japanese American National Museum, Yukio Nakamura collection.

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