Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust Kicks Off Virtual Day of Action and National POV Broadcast

The following is a press release from Public Broadcasting System

At the foot of the majestic snow-capped Sierras sits Manzanar, the site of the World War II concentration camp where 11,070 Japanese Americans were incarcerated from March 1942 to November 1945. This place is the confluence for memories of Payahüünadü, the now-parched “land of flowing water.” In “Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust,” Ann Kaneko—best known for films that weave her poetic aesthetic with the complex intricacies of political reality—documents the struggle of intergenerational women who share histories of forced removal: Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at the camp, Native Americans who were driven from these lands, and farmers and ranchers turned environmentalists, who were bought out by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

LOS ANGELES — InterSection Films is proud to announce that Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust, directed and produced by Ann Kaneko and produced by Jin Yoo-Kim, will be holding a virtual day of conversation and action on July 17, 2022 at 10:00 AM PST. This free, two-hour virtual live-streamed event called, Manzanar, Diverted: Converging Conversations, will uplift water and land protectors across the country. This event will launch the national POV PBS broadcast of Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust on Monday, July 18, at 10:00 PM PST (check your local listings; scheduled for July 18, 10:00 PM on PBS SoCal, KOCE-TV 50 in Los Angeles/Orange County).

Manzanar, Diverted: Converging Conversations aims to commemorate how people lost their lands to outsiders in the name of environmental racism. The film remembers the forced removal of the Nüümü/Paiute and Newe/Shoshone from Payahuunadü/Owens Valley and the incarceration of Japanese Americans at the Manzanar concentration camp during World War II. Tying together land and water issues, BIPOC communities, like these, have been forced to relocate due to contamination, resource extraction and development. This two-hour action-packed event of live and pre-recorded conversation will feature clips from the film and will connect local efforts across the nation, highlighting historical and contemporary issues that tie back to themes of the film.

Director/Producer Ann Kaneko acts as host, guiding viewers through this live streamed video relay of participants. Environmental and social justice organizations include the Sierra Club, who will be discussing the Delta Tunnel (Conveyance) project in Northern California; 18 Million Rising and Tsuru For Solidarity will join to talk about ICE and the Vision Act, bringing together Tsuru co-orgnaizer Satsuki Ina with Lam Hong Le, a youth offender who now awaits possible deportation, discussing systems of incarceration; Executive Producer Tracy Rector of Nia Tero will talk about reciprocity; Margaret Wooster of the Great Lakes EcoRegion Network will discuss Lake Erie’s coast as a public commons; Erin Shigaki of Tsuru for Solidarity and Stephen Kitajo, Chair of the Minidoka Pilgrimage Planning Committee, talk about the fight against the wind project at Minidoka; Brad Lopes of the Wampanoag Tribe will share stories about the dumping of radioactive wastewater into Cape Cod Bay.

In Los Angeles, Ann will visit the Griffith Park Detention Center, where Japanese Americans were detained after Pearl Harbor’s bombing with June Aochi Berk (Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition). She will also share highlights from the July 11 commemorative run for the Forced March from Payahuunadü, talking to Kathy Bancroft from the film.

This event is free to all and can be accessed through on July 17 at 10:00 AM PST. Those wishing to attend can register through Eventbrite at

The Converging Conversations Day of Action will kick off the national broadcast of Manzanar, Diverted: When Water Becomes Dust on Monday, July 18, 2022 on POV at 10:00 PM PST. POV is America’s longest running documentary series, celebrating its 35th anniversary season. The film exposes the legacy of colonization, racism and environmental injustice in the Payahuunadü region (California’s Owens Valley) and was created by Emmy Award-winning director Ann Kaneko (Against the Grain: An Artist’s Survival Guide to Perú) and producer Jin Yoo-Kim (A Woman’s Work: The NFL Cheerleader Problem).

The documentary is available to stream free until August 18, 2022 at, and the PBS Video app. In addition to standard closed captioning, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations for audiences with sensory disabilities.


The Manzanar Committee’s Official web site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Manzanar Committee Official web site – Licensing and Copyright Information.

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