The Women and Gender Studies Excellence in Inclusion Award recognizes outstanding student projects (research or creative works) that explore issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion at CU Boulder or in the U.S. more generally. This award is designed to help foster an inclusive and welcoming campus climate at CU Boulder for students of all backgrounds, including first-generation students, minority students, women, LGBTQ, and other historically underrepresented groups in the field of education. Students from across the campus are invited to submit research or creative works for consideration by a committee made up of faculty, staff, and students from our department.
This year, we award this prize to Haley Takahashi for her art piece "This Land is Soaked in Blood."
Haley is a senior graduating with a BFA in art practices. Her piece, pictured below, is a stunning, ceiling-height Japanese Kimono covered in blood-red replicas of the 1942 U.S. government order mandating that all persons of Japanese ancestry report to internment camps. In their artist’s statement, Haley notes that this issue is quite personal to them, as their own grandmother was sent to an internment camp. Haley reminds us that the “history of violence, prejudice, racism, and horror permeate the identity of many Japanese Americans.” The faculty were very impressed with Haley’s artwork and with the powerful statement that it makes about both historical and contemporary issues of racial profiling.
This Land is Soaked in Blood
by Haley Takahashi
Silkscreen, Unbleached muslin, red dye, netting, red embroidery thread
"In 1942, my grandmother and her entire family were taken from their home and sent to internment camps in the American west. The history of violence, prejudice, racism, and horror permeate the identity of many Japanese Americans. This history, comparable to the horrors of the Holocaust, is rarely taught in American schools and is hidden from mainstream America. The land we call free is soaked in the blood of the minorities that have fallen victim to its ignorance. Today children are being separate from their parents at the border, Muslim Americans are banned from traveling, refugees are turned away from solace, and the pain that my ancestors felt is as poignant as was 77 years ago. We must never forget the history that defines us."