October 13, 2018

WAR - A Personal Response WW1 INTERNMENT CAMPS

EXHIBITION runs October 16 - November 29, 2018 Sidney Museum, Vancouver Island, BC 
The six artists of Articulation Textile Group come together with their personal family  responses to war, in all of its forms.

Title: WW1 Internment Camps

Size: 12"x18"
Materials: maps, pages about each of the 24 camps across Canada, beads
Techniques: origami

For a country that prides itself on multiculturalism, we have a blind spot for certain elements of our history, one of them being the existence of internment camps during World War I and II. Twice, Ukrainian Canadian citizens have been held as prisoners, in dreadful conditions.

Canada’s first use of the War Measures Act was in August 1914, shortly after Great Britain, and therefore we, entered WWI. An order in council was issued requiring the registration of all ‘enemy aliens’ – citizens who had emigrated from territories controlled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, most of whom identified as Ukrainian. Some, including women and children, were interned, and their property and valuables were confiscated. Prisoners were required to work, their first task being to build the internment camps. Much of the infrastructure of Canada, including many of our national parks, was built using the labor of these prisoners.

This piece speaks to the convoluted reasons that result in such acts – racism tangled up with misplaced patriotism, loyalty to ‘king and country’, fear of otherness – and to the resulting effect on the incarcerated – increased isolation leading to hopelessness producing radicalization. Boxes within boxes within boxes.

Six boxes from maps showing the 6 provinces that had camps.
Twenty four boxes from pages detailing the 24 separate camps across Canada.
Forty eight boxes from pages of general information about the Canadian internment camps.
One hundred and twenty boxes and quantities of red beads representing the 8,579 prisoners from 1914-1920.
 partial shots of the piece:

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