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Sunday, May 27, 2007

New York: June 12-14 Big Head: Japanese incarceration during WWII and those perceived as “the enemy,” post 9/11

As I have written on my blog several times before, there is definite empathy on the part of the Japanese community for the Arab/Muslim Community in the US. The Japanese, having suffered so very much under internment during WWII identify with the suspicion heaped upon the Arab/Muslim community. Indeed, MANY of my Japanese friends have pointed out the similarities between Executive Order 9066 and the Patriot Act.

The below I received by email. I do not know Denise Uyehara personally, but would like to recommend this performance in New York in which she appears also with several Arab Americans, giving their interpretation together of the generalized suspicion targeted at them

Please forward...

Uyehara - SUV


Dear friends and colleagues,

I'll be performing one of pieces as part of the National Asian
American Theater Festival. Since I rarely perform in New York, please
help spread the word to folks you know on the East Coast who might
like to attend.

Thank you for your support!

Denise Uyehara

Big Head
By Denise Uyehara
June 12, 13 and 14 at 9:30 p.m.
The Kirk Theatre
410 West 42nd Street (between 9th and Dyer Avenues)
New York, NY 10036
Admission $20
This event is on a double bill with Replaced Rituals by Pallabi
Chakravorty, Courtyard Dancers.

Closest subway: A, C, E to 42nd Street. Walk west on 42nd Street to the theatre.

More info at

"Mesmerizing…a coup de theater…Uyehara here addresses imperiled
democracy in the present war-shrouded landscape." - Los Angeles Times

Big Head revisits the treatment of Japanese Americans during World War
II and considers current-day treatment of those perceived as "the
enemy now", including Muslim Americans, Arab Americans, and South
Asian Americans. A work that has been in the making since before
September 11, this poetic, interdisciplinary performance offers up
letters from Rohwer Internment Camp in Arkansas, responds to recent
hate crimes and imprisonments, and considers the coalition-building
between these various communities during times of crisis.

A non-linear montage of images, clay animation, movement, and text,
Big Head evokes the mysteriously winding path of collective memory,
and how we interpret our past to provide hope for the future.
Performance includes testimony by Edina Lekovic, Shady Hakim, Lulu
Emery,TamadhuAl-Aqeel, and Lillian Nakano. Dramaturgy by Tamadhur

About the artist
Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist, writer and
playwright whose work has been presented in U.S. and in London, Tokyo,
Vancouver and Helsinki. A pioneering performance artist whose work the
Los Angeles Times hails as "mastery [that] amounts to a cMaps of City
and Body: Shedding Light on the Performances of Denise Uyehara (Kaya)
documents recent works. These include Big Head, an interdisciplinary
performance that examines the incarceration of Japanese Americans
during World War II and those now perceived as "the enemy," in
particular Arab Americans, Muslims and South Asian Americans. Other
performances include Hello (Sex) Kitty: Mad Asian Bitch on Wheels,
Headless Turtleneck Relatives: Tale of Family and a Grandmother's
Suicide by Fire, and The Senkotsu (Mis)Translation Project, a
work-in-progress performance installation examining war and
occupation. oup de theater," Uyehara was one of the first to explore
Asian American queer subjectivity through performance. Her book Her
work also appears in O Solo Homo (Grove), Asian American Drama
(Applause Books), and the Asian Pacific American Journal. She teaches
frequently at UC Irvine.

About the Festival
The First National Asian American Theater Festival is coming to New
York City! From June 11 - 24, 2007, over 25 of the hottest,
cutting-edge Asian American theater companies and performing artists
will converge upon several venues in the Big Apple.

Spearheaded by Ma-Yi Theater Company, NAATCO (National Asian American
Theatre Company), and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, the festival
celebrates the vitally important contributions Asian American artists
make to the cultural landscape of the nation.

The festival will foster greater understanding of the growing
influence Asian Americans have on the social and cultural identity of
America. The works presented will inspire appreciation for the unique,
yet universal stories of our communities.

Don't miss out on this historic event-in-the-making! Send your contact
information to or sign up for the mailing list to keep
current on the latest news and developments.

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