In the incredibly short span of about four years, 1942 to 1946, some five hundred acres of the Mississippi River Delta in southeast Arkansas were transformed from a tree-covered swamp, to a barren military-style camp, to a resourceful community of more than 8,000 involuntary residents, and then wiped clean of almost all traces of this community and replaced with productive farmland. Rohwer Reconstructed: Interpreting Place through Experience tells the story of this ephemeral landscape and the people who created it, helping ensure their legacy is preserved for future generations.
Since almost none of the former internment camp remains in situ, treatments of restoration or rehabilitation are impossible at the former site of the Rohwer camp. Similarly, physical reconstruction of all or even portions of the camp is inadvisable due to concerns of feasibility, propriety, and authenticity, among others. Therefore, the overarching goal of Rohwer Reconstructed is to bring the Rohwer Relocation Center “back to life” through the creation of an online, immersive digital environment that integrates material culture, oral history, photographs and documents – uniting them to create a sense of a lived place.
The project was made possible by a grant from the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program, administered through the National Park Service. Project team members and collaborators include the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, and Special Collections at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville; the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in Little Rock; and the Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
Associated Grants and Awards
Rohwer Reconstructed II: Making Connections across Time and Space, U.S. DOI National Park Service (2015)
Rohwer Reconstructed: Interpreting Place through Experience, U.S. DOI National Park Service (2013)
News & Media
Voice Actors Wanted for Historical Visualization Project, Arkansas Newswire, 09/27/17
Erdman Recognized for Preservation Education With New Landscape Architecture Course, Arkansas Newswire, 01/30/13
Rohwer: A Japanese-American Internment Camp in Arkansas, Research Frontiers, 11/15/12
From 3-D to 2-D: Mapping the Forgotten History of a Japanese-American Internment Camp, Research Frontiers, 10/15/12
Funding provided by:
3D Reconstruction, Digital Preservation