It is a few minutes past midnight on Sunday March 9, 2014. I have just returned home from Fresno County and I decided to post my photos from my last Fresno County visit. I wanted to post while it was still International Women’s Day, because this story reveals something unexpected about the struggle for liberty. The post is late, just as liberation often arrives later than desired.
In January, I published the first installment of my long term project about Japanese Americans Internment Camp Survivors. When I returned to Reedley, California three weeks ago, Libby and her mother joined us. Libby and Tisha are related to many of the people I photographed in January.
Libby is my friend [wb_fb_f name=”Carol Egoian” id=””]’s granddaughter. Carol is my connection to the story. Carol introduced me to the Art of Gaman and she introduced me to many of her family members, including those who survived the relocation camps.
When I started this story, I thought that I would find information about the camps. I thought that I would learn how a government could relocate its own people and take their possessions. I am reconsidering my central questions. While I am still concerned that a government could build relocation camps, I am more interested in the survival techniques of the people who were moved into the camps. How did they remain calm? How did they focus on the future? Did they prepare for a world where Libby would be free?
I am also reformulating my questions about respect for authority. I had assumed that the Japanese-American culture respected their elders, because… well, because young people were taught to respect and obey their elders. After watching the elders interact with younger people, I have a different opinion. Young people respect their elders, because the elders care for the youngsters. Perhaps I have just found a caring extended family, but I suspect that there is a greater lesson. Young people respect those who care for them.
To see more photos of Libby and her community, view the slideshow. Please leave a comment, especially if you have ideas about any of my questions. I am also curious about the origin of Libby’s name. Is it short for Liberation? If so, is her name a reminder of her family’s past? Is it also a sign of appreciation to those who survived? Lastly, I noticed that my previous post also featured someone named Libby. This makes the third Libby in one year to appear in my blog.