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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1263/

An Unexpected Ephiphany

I freelanced for awhile and was relatively successful, did a lot of work for magazines. But I realized at the time that that wasn’t what I wanted to do, because the stories that sold were not the stories that I wanted to tell…I happened to run across a newspaper, an Asian American newspaper called Gidra, and later it turned out to be the Asian American Movement newspaper. And I realized that there were other people feeling this way, other Asian Americans.


Asian American movement

Date: August 16, 2011

Location: California, US

Interviewer: Alexa Kim

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Born on July 5, 1936, in Venice, California, to an Issei father and Nisei mother, Robert Akira Nakamura left a successful career in photojournalism and advertising photography to become one of the first to explore, interpret and present the experiences of Japanese Americans in film. His ground-breaking personal documentary, Manzanar (1972), has been selected for major retrospectives on the documentary form at the San Francisco Museum of Art and the Film Forum, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

A graduate of Art Center College of Design (BFA, 1966) and the UCLA Department of Motion Picture & Television Production (MFA, 1975), where he recently retired as a Professor, Nakamura has garnered over 25 national awards for his innovative and evocative films, including Wataridori: Birds of Passage (1975); Hito Hata: Raise the Banner (1980), Moving Memories (1992), Something Strong Within (1994), and Looking Like the Enemy (1995).

In 1970, Nakamura founded Visual Communications where he continues to serve as a member of the Board of Directors. He also founded the UCLA Center for Ethnocommunications in 1996, and the Media Arts Center of the Japanese American National Museum in 1997.

Nakamura was the first recipient of the annual Steve Tatsukawa Memorial Award in 1985 for outstanding achievement and leadership in Asian American media, and, in 1994, the Asian Pacific American Coalition in Cinema, Theatre & Television of UCLA, instituted the “Robert A. Nakamura Award” in his honor to recognize outstanding contributions of other Asian Pacific American visual artists. In 1997, the Smithsonian Institute presented a retrospective of his work and in 1999 he was named to the Endowed Chair in Japanese American Studies at UCLA. (August 2012)

Evelyn Yoshimura
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Evelyn Yoshimura

Commonalities

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Understanding Gidra's Context

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Gidra's Content

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Emergence of Graphics in Gidra

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Youth and Gidra

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Gidra Production

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Prisoners and Poetry

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Mike Murase
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Mike Murase

Where did the Name Gidra Originate

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Struggle and Activism

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Gidra's Editorial Process

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Gidra - Community Newspaper

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Gidra Collaborations

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Common Cause

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Gidra's Contributors

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Gidra's Content

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