About the Project
Generations Of War will document stories from the community – Japanese American and beyond – to address issues of war, resistance and pro peace action as well as the legacy and myriad affects war has on our communities.
The first phase of the project will build upon a collaboration between members of the Asian American Vietnam Veterans Organization (AAVVO) and artist/organizer, Traci Kato-Kiriyama. Through this phase, oral histories will be done with 8 individuals from Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with the website which will be built to feature profiles and excerpts from each of the individual- and group-interviews with Sansei Veterans. The website will include links and ways to connect with and learn more about related pro-peace work from organizations and artists based in Los Angeles and, eventually, throughout the country.
Future content, following year one, looks to include stories from Sansei women cohorts of the Sansei Vietnam Vets and their role in anti-war activism; the Draft Resisters; pro peace Veterans of other wars/from other communities; etc.
The project aims to build education and connection between communities, in reflection of history and current issues, as we, a larger community, struggle for a future of peace.
About the Veterans
The initial impetus for this project and site was to capture interviews and stories with Japanese American, Sansei Vietnam Veterans who became activists and community builders in various ways after the war. These were guys who came back from Vietnam and literally stepped into the Asian American Movement. In many cases, it was all happening at once: revealing and understanding their families' history of incarceration in American Concentration Camps during World War II; the egregious nature of racism of the Vietnam War and the development of the anti-Vietnam War movement; Black Power and Brown Power struggles that inspired and influenced the rise of the Asian American Movement. The Vets we've begun to feature here were influenced by and directly involved in much of it from a particular perspective that we hope to keep sharing and learning from.
- Professor Glenn Omatsu and students from his Winter Quarter 2011 UCLA class, “Asian American Social Movements: Strategies for Community Education”;
- Professor Victor Bascara
- Aratani CARE grant through the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.