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East of the Rockies

Through the diaries of 17-year-old Yuki, this experiment in augmented reality helps us experience the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War

During the Second World War, around 22,000 Canadians of Japanese origin were driven out of their homes. Their property was appropriated by the Canadian government and they were forced to relocate to internment camps, far away from where they had built a life. It wasn’t until 1949 that their rights were fully reinstated, but their property was never returned to them.

This augmented reality story chronicles these events, as seen through the eyes of 17-year-old Yuki, who finds herself in Slocan camp with her family. We follow in her footsteps as she moves from location to location: first to Slocan, later to the east of the Rocky Mountains; and finally in the present day, with Yuki’s granddaughter attempting to unravel her grandmother’s hidden past.

By selecting objects, swiping over locations and zooming in on details, at your own tempo you unlock the story written by the celebrated author Joy Kogawa, who also experienced the displacement herself. Each action calls up new lines from Yuki’s diary.

Project details

Year of development :2018
Created by:Rob McLaughlin
With:The National Film Board of Canada

Available formats