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A Tower to Console the Dead and the Living: Masumi Hayashi and the Image of History

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image of Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas

This article critically investigates the work of the Japanese American photographer Masumi Hayashi (1945–2006), with special attention to her series on World War II era internment camps for people of Japanese ancestry. It has three goals: to describe Hayashi’s unusual working method through close attention to the works themselves; to articulate the aesthetic, philosophical and ethical dimensions of Hayashi’s practice; and to position Hayashi within the field of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century photographers concerned with the problem of giving-image to traumatic histories. The author argues for recognition of Hayashi’s deeply accomplished, ground-breaking work.

Affiliations: 1: Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA,


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