April 5, 2022

Densho’s 2022 artist program theme, Answering the Archive, pulls focus on the individual and collective responses that archival materials elicit, and on the actions they call upon us to take. Using Densho or family history items (photos, documents, or material objects) related to WWII incarceration as a starting place, the 2022 artist cohort will creatively explore this dynamic between past and present. Projects will center around themes of resistance, resilience, intergenerational healing, racial justice, and other radical acts of remembering. 

This year we will fund two artists-in-residence, each of whom will use their practice to deepen understandings and expand awareness of WWII Japanese American incarceration. We welcome all visual and written mediums, but are particularly interested in projects with the potential for broad reach through digital mediums.

Resident Artists, $5,000 stipend, plus $1,500 materials budget

Two emerging artists will complete a single project or a series of related works aimed at deepening public understanding of WWII Japanese American incarceration history. The residency is open to artists based anywhere.

Projects should engage at least one of the following themes: 

  • Educate general audiences about Japanese American WWII incarceration. 
  • Connect Japanese American WWII incarceration history to current instances of racial injustice and inequity.
  • Foster healing and dialogue around historical memory and intergenerational trauma.
  • Respond to one or more of these questions: What affirmed Japanese American identity in the camps? What inspired hope or strength in the face of trauma? What symbolized resistance or refusal?
  • Engage students (anywhere on the K-12 spectrum) in learning about WWII incarceration.
Proposal Guidelines 
  • Tell us about your idea, how you would use Densho’s archives, and how it would engage project themes. (250 word limit) 
  • 2-3 work samples that demonstrate your skill and ability to complete your proposed projects. 
  • Bio or artist statement. (250 word limit)

Proposals are due on May 2. Finalists will be invited to submit a more detailed proposal and project budget. All projects must be completed by April 2023 and should entail 100-150 hours of work over the course of the residency. This residency is remote and open to anyone.

[Header: Mari Shibuya, Densho artist-in-residence in 2019]