Objects of Affection


The Objects of Affection Exhibit draws upon upon the personal papers of families featured in the Re/Collecting Project, an online archive and ethnic studies memory project of California’s Central Coast. The exhibit focuses on the bonds formed by diverse communities as evoked through their stories, photographs, letters, songs, and performances. 

 As historical evidence, the objects of affection featured here allow us to bear witness to the social, political, and cultural dynamics on the Central Coast within the larger contexts of U.S. empire building and war—but experienced as intimate and seemingly ordinary moments in one’s life. A focus on “objects” also invites us to explore the relationship between form and content: How do these relationships take shape within material forms of expression like a letter, a song, a photograph, a gift, or a shared craft? What are the potentials and the limits afforded by different media? And of course, an object of affection refers to the beloved with whom one would create new worlds. 
Whether as individuals, as material evidence, or as media, these objects of affection suggest the everyday yet powerful ways individuals responded to social and legal exclusions to forge rich community bonds, family, and friendships.

Click on the objects (of affection) below to learn about Love and War, Objects of Memory, Love Notes, and Home Sweet Home.
 
Ken Kitasako’s typewriter with Petition letter to Edward J. Ennis
Petition letter to Edward J. Ennis, director of the Alien Enemy Control Unit of the U.S. Department of Justice from Gila Relocation Center, Arizona. Ken Kitasako's Typerwriter

Petition letter to Edward J. Ennis, director of the Alien Enemy Control Unit of the U.S. Department of Justice from Gila Relocation Center, Arizona.

Ken Kitasako's Typerwriter

During the physical exhibition in the spring of 2014, visitors were able to write their own stories on a typewriter like this one.
We welcome your stories as well, in our continuous work in gathering stories, to be submitted at centralcoastsnapshots.online.

Courtesy of Barbara Kikuko Finn. Photo by Brian Lawler. From the Exhibit “Objects of Affection.” Robert E. Kennedy Library, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California. 

Objects of MemoryPhoto Illustration: Mutsuko and Ken Kitasako with their son, Edwin Tetsuo, who was their first-born child. Guadalupe, CA. c. 1935.

Illustrated Tamura Family Portrait.
Photo illustration. Mutsuko and Ken Kitasako with their son, Edwin Tetsuo, who was their first-born child. Guadalupe, CA. c. 1935. Courtesy of Barbara Kikuko Finn. Photo illustration by Ragini Sahai. From the Exhibit “Objects of Affection.” Robert E. Kennedy Library, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California.

Home Sweet Home

Photo illustration: Thomas Edison Stone and his son in front of their first home in Arroyo Grande, CA. October 1965. Photo illustration by Ragini Sahai, ’14 Art & Design, for Kennedy Library. Based on the RECO project: Thomas Edison Stone and his son in front of their first home in Arroyo Grande, CA. October 1965. All images courtesy of Jessie Stone.

Photo Illustration: Family of four sitting on bench at Internment camp