While imprisoned, Japanese American women, children, and men employed art to remake the physical landscapes of the camps into livable places, establish new and reform existing connections, and create mental spaces of survival.
– Jane Dusselier, Artifacts of Loss
I read parts of this book over the last week and now I am well and truly obsessed by the concept of artifacts. I also wish I had read it before I started my PhD as it gave me a great idea for a research topic, but I already have a great idea I’m committed to, so let’s note it for the next project (it was to photograph and investigate meaning behind the artifacts left behind after people die – my mother’s childhood doll which is sitting in a box in my garage, for instance, or my father’s photographs of Campbell Island, where he lived for two years as part of the team that built the research facilities there). All through my academic study I would say that I didn’t think I would like research and probably wouldn’t go past a post-graduate diploma for that reason, but then I met Kerry and Veronica and discovered that I not only like research, I am passionate about it, and don’t want to really do anything much else. Even when I moan otherwise, which usually just means I’m tired and need a break.
I’ve signed up for a free online course with the International Writing Program at Iowa University – they offer free online writing courses regularly and they’re really excellent. This one is called Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Fiction and Nonfiction so it’s sort of PhD preparation-ish, which is how I am justifying the time it will take. (Ethics first, K+V, yes). And there is a city-wide photography festival beginning at the end of May, with a theme of identity, so it’s important that I go see some exhibitions in that too, don’t you think? Roger Ballen is exhibiting for the first time in NZ, so the universe says I have to go too. Thanks Roger Ballen, thanks Universe.
Now back to marking Kerry’s post-grads. When that is done I am going to visit a beach I have never been to and take my camera with me, and spend hours just looking and not thinking. Chocolate may be involved; definitely coffee.