Kayla Isomura

Kayla Isomura is a Yonsei Japanese and Chinese Canadian photographer. With a background in journalism, her interest in storytelling through multimedia has largely been influenced from unpacking her Nikkei identity. In 2018, Kayla produced The Suitcase Project, a multimedia exhibition examining the effects of the internment and incarceration on Yonsei and Gosei Japanese Canadians and Americans. Based in Vancouver, Canada on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, Kayla is continuing to explore narratives of intergenerational trauma and racialized identity. When she’s not working behind the camera, Kayla can be found exploring the landscape around her.

Updated April 2019

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Minidoka Pilgrimage by a Canadian Yonsei

On a dry July morning, large white tents shaded me, and two hundred others, from the desert sun. We were at the end of a three-day journey in southern Idaho on the Minidoka Pilgrimage. Minidoka, also known as Hunt Camp, was one of 10 concentration camps in the United States during the Japanese American incarceration, which began in 1942, the same year as in Canada. The pilgrimage is an annual event including educational workshops, talk-back sessions, a tour of Minidoka—which originally spanned 33,000 acres—and a closing ceremony. Each year, more than 200 individuals and families attend.

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