“Colors of Confinement”: New Book Features Rare Color Photos of Japanese American Internment

In 1942, Bill Manbo and his family were forced from their Hollywood home into the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, a Japanese American internment camp in Wyoming. While there, Manbo documented both the bleakness and beauty of his surroundings using Kodachrome film—a technology then just seven years old—to capture community celebrations and to record his family’s struggle to maintain a normal life under the harsh conditions of racial imprisonment. Colors of Confinement, a new book from the Center for Documentary Studies and the University of North Carolina Press, showcases sixty-five stunning images from this extremely rare collection of color photographs, presented along with three interpretive essays by leading scholars and a reflective, personal essay by a former Heart Mountain internee.

Stories about Colors of Confinement have appeared in the New York Times (“Injustice, in Kodachrome”) and on NPR’s photography blog, The Picture Show (“A Dark Chapter of American History Captured in ‘Colors'”).

Colors of Confinement editor Eric Muller will give a presentation and sign copies of the book at CDS on September 27. Drinks and snacks will be available on the Lyndhurst Porch after the presentation.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 7-9 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St. Durham, North Carolina 

Muller will also be appearing at other venues in North Carolina and elsewhere, and an exhibit of images from the book will open at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on October 3. For more information, click here.

A selection of images from Colors of Confinement:





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    One Response to ““Colors of Confinement”: New Book Features Rare Color Photos of Japanese American Internment”

    1. Andy Barnes says:

      These kodachrome images are stunning. Such ashame the consumer abandoned kodachrome in favour other makes of film and digital image capture. Will todays images look this good in 70 years time?

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