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Lost LA

Three Views of Manzanar: Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Toyo Miyatake

Season 4 Episode 2

Despite the trauma of their incarceration during World War II, Japanese Americans built new lives while detained at concentration camps like Manzanar. They played baseball, planted gardens and made the honor roll. Three renowned photographers captured these scenes: outsiders Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and incarceree Tōyō Miyatake who boldly smuggled in a camera lens to document life from within the camp. All three trained their lenses on small yet profound moments of dignity and domesticity, documenting resilience in the face of civil injustice. This episode compares and contrasts their approaches and the politics encoded in their work. It also follows the work of Paul Kitagaki, Jr., an award-winning photographer, who is trying to capture the images and voices of those incarcerees decades after that fateful moment in time. 

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