Emily Hanako Momohara | Fruits of Labor – Ep.114

“My grandmother’s family were all incarcerated at Minidoka, one of the WWII Japanese-American camps, and I just felt like there were few communities that stood up for them at that time and with the privilege that I have now, with being fourth generation American, I certainly can speak out on those issues that were pivotal to my own family.” Emily Hanako Momohara was part of a panel talk at this year’s SPE Conference titled 21st Century Family. She spoke about her work, Fruits of Labor: A Legacy of Immigration and Agriculture, which draws a connection from her own great-grandparent’s history on the pineapple plantations in Hawaii to the plight of today’s immigrants and migrant workers. Emily also connects her work and activism to her grandmother’s incarceration at Minidoka and, as Emily will say in the show, she went from being a quiet activist to a more vocal activist because of the direction this country has taken and that she is in a position to stand up and speak for others in a way that she would have wanted communities to stand up for her grandparents and great-grandparents in their time. Emily Hanako Momohara was born in Seattle, Washington where she grew up in a mixed race family. Her work centers around issues of heritage, multiculturalism, immigration and social justice. Emily has exhibited nationally, most notably at the Japanese American National Museum in a two-person show titled Sugar|Islands. She has been a visiting artist at several residency programs including the Center for Photography at Woodstock, Headlands Center for the Arts, Fine Arts Work Center and Red Gate Gallery Beijing. In 2015, her work was included in the Chongqing Photography and Video Biennial. Emily has created socially driven billboards for For Freedoms and United Photo Industries. She lives and works in Cincinnati where she is an Associate Professor of Art at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and heads the photography major. https://ehmomohara.com/ https://www.instagram.com/ehmomohara/