Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Normally I blog about my photographic journeys and discoveries, but a recent post by George Takei (Star Trek's Sulu),  Why We Must Remember Rohwer,  has me thinking about how quickly human rights can be ignored and how prejudice never dies.

Prejudice created by circumstances.  Created by governments.  Passed on.

In his blog George Takei remembers spending his childhood in Rohwer, an American internment camp set up after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to protect citizens from local Japanese.  He was 5 years old.

Canadian governments also created internment camps during the wars for Japanese and Europeans (both directly born and Canadian descendants).

A friend of mine who use to work as a guide for Parks Canada in Kananaskis often tells a story of German POWs imprisoned there.  Prisoners were told that the local Indians would kill them if they tried to escape.  They even asked a few Tsuu T'ina braves to come dressed in traditional garb and makeup to illustrate their point.

A couple of years ago, on a Canada Day family-history road trip, I visited the area where my pioneering ancestors farmed. The town museum was closed, but a local store owner was eager to tell me what he knew of my family.  My family was/is a very reclusive bunch -- gathering family information is difficult -- so, I was eager to listen.  Turns out there were reasons they kept to themselves.

My German/Finnish great grandparents came to Canada in the late 1800s, probably to escape government repression in Germany and Russia.  At the time, the Canadian government was selling 120 acres of First Nation land for $10.   My ancestors set up their homes, built their churches, and had their babies.  I have cousins that still live in the area.  I don't know what happened to my family during the wars, but in 1991 an uncle was buried in Calgary's military cemetery, so at least one relative fought for Canada.  According to that store owner, though, I shouldn't be surprised if I found swastika flags in my family basement.

Almost 100 years after the wars, and still.

Why?  Human nature?  Tribal conditioning?  Who knows why prejudice exists.

Prejudice is like a virus that goes dormant during good times, then when terrible events occur -- like 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing -- the dis-ease is revived.

As for those interred, the only restitution, that I'm aware of, are memorials set up to commemorate the fact that citizens -- neighbours -- were denied their legal rights and treated like war prisoners.

Articles like Takei's remind us what happened, who it happened to, in hopes that it won't happen again.

And yet...


Sunday, April 28, 2013

comic costumer - Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo

comic costumer by Wanderfull1
comic costumer, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
Having attended the insanity that is the Calgary Comic Expo three years in a row, this year I decided to abstain. Work prevented me from going to the Parade of Wonders (POW), but I did manage to capture a couple costumers waiting for the train.

Update... April 30/13:

Even though I didn't go this year, I feel like I've visited the Expo vicariously through a couple of my Flickr friends' uploads.  Great way to avoid the crowds! : ) Here are links to some awesome shots of the Comic Expo:

Wreck City 2013

Wreck City April 2013 - tinsel toiletWreck City April 2013 - camera obscuraWreck City April 2013 - spring freshWreck City April 2013 - foxholeWreck City April 2013 - topsy turvyWreck City April 2013 - big fan
Wreck City April 2013 - sound wall and loft stairsWreck City April 2013 - shaken dadWreck City April 2013 - unbalancedWreck City April 2013 - bridging the gapWreck City April 2013 - concrete bath

Wreck City 2013, a set on Flickr.
Nine houses, 3 garages, all slated for demolition so condos can be built. Enter the Wreck City artistic crew to create fun and art before the wrecking crews tear everything down. These are some shots from Saturday, April 27, the last day of the exhibit.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Calgary Activism - Earth Day 2013 - Action for Earth

Earth Day 2013 - water personEarth Day 2013 - talk peace - raging granniesEarth Day 2013 - Grant NeufeldEarth Day 2013 - smileyEarth Day 2013 - ChantalEarth Day 2013 - druming for animals
Earth Day 2013 - for bearsEarth Day 2013 - lady drummerEarth Day 2013 - SusanEarth Day 2013 - furry drumingEarth Day 2013 - CBC on the sceneEarth Day 2013 - bad oil person
Earth Day 2013 - raging granny hatsEarth Day 2013 - trio of granniesEarth Day 2013 - dreamy ChantalEarth Day 2013 - activistsEarth Day 2013 - puppy powerEarth Day 2013 - activist group
Earth Day 2013 - plant person

To commemorate Earth Day, a small group of people demonstrated in front of the Scotia Centre at noon today. They did a little dance where people dressed in blue represented water, people with pets or toys represented animals, and those of us dressed in black represented oil. In the dance, the oil people overwhelmed the water and animal people, symbolizing oil's tendency to kill Nature on contact. The Raging Grannies also were there with their special protest songs.

Friday, April 19, 2013

This is My City Festival - East Village Walk 2013

TMC East Village Walk 2013 -TMC East Village Walk 2013 -TMC East Village Walk 2013 - old guy & gopherTMC East Village Walk 2013 - passing throughTMC East Village Walk 2013 - c-trainTMC East Village Walk 2013 - grated door
TMC East Village Walk 2013 -TMC East Village Walk 2013 - near City HallTMC East Village Walk 2013 - passing byTMC East Village Walk 2013 - unsteadyTMC East Village Walk 2013 - gopherTMC East Village Walk 2013 - grated kitty
TMC East Village Walk 2013 - St Louis

As part of the This is My City Festival, Cat Schick led a group of photographers through the community of East Village. We started at City Hall, meandered down 9th Avenue to 3rd Street to the Bow River.