A national award winning author will discuss Canada's First World War itnernment operations when she visits the Brandon Public Library on Monday, outlining a little known piece of the country's 20th Century war history.
Sandra Semchuk, a photo, narrative and video artist who won a Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts last year, will be in the city Monday at 7 p .m. as part of a cross-Canada tour promoting her new book, The Stories Were Not Told: Canada's First World War Internment Camps (University of Alberta Press, 2018). The book describes Canada's internment operations during the First World War, when Austro-Hungarian Empire, German and the Ottoman Empire immigrants were placed in custody as "enemy aliens." One of these camps was located at Wasagaming in Riding Mountain National Park.
Semchuk uses photography to show contemporary sites of the two dozen internment camps operated in Canada. She also includes documents and historical images to provide readers with a clearer view of the story.
Her intention with the book and her speaking tour is to provide an opportunity for internees and their descendants to tell their stories 100 years after the conclusion of the First World War. Her presentation will describe how individual lives and all of society have been shaped by legislated racism. She wants people to understand the cultural and intergenerational consequences of Canada's internment camp policies.
"Using photography, cultural history and personal history, Semchuk presents this largely unrecognized event as part of the process toward reconciliation and healing," says tour sponsor and Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund chair EMil Yereniuk.
Admission to Semchuk's presentation is free of charge. For more information on this and other Brandon Public Library events, call the facility at (204) 727-6648, visit wmrl.ca or email Programming and Outreach Librarian Danielle Hubbard at Danielle@wmrl.ca.
– With notes from the Brandon Public Library.