Screenings

Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

June 14, 2013

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

March 23, 2013

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

Screenings and Events


ENEMY ALIEN at Rutgers University

Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

ENEMY ALIEN website
AIA2014
Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas

This symposium aims to explore the multifaceted lives and representations of Asians in the Americas, past and present, and their intersections with borders, race, gender, nationality, geopolitical power, homeland, identity, and culture. We emphasize the presence of Asians in the Americas since at least the sixteenth century and their relevance for contemporary diaspora, globalization, and transnational studies.

1-3 p.m. FEATURED SESSION I

Encounters: Co-locating Historical Narratives of People of Asian Descent in the Americas—West Asia/East Asia

Roshni Rustomji-Kerns Writer and Professor Emerita, Sonoma State University) with Konrad Aderer

Konrad Aderer’s Enemy Alien (2011) is a prize winning Asian United Statesian documentary presented in the format of multi-interviews about the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born human rights activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Transferred from jail to jail, beaten and interrogated but never charged with a crime, Farouk organizes other immigration detainees in a hunger strike. Resistance brings consequences as Farouk is transferred into solitary confinement and Aderer’s documentary itself is obstructed and investigated by counterterrorism officials. Told mainly through the eyes and words of Konrad Aderer, the grandson of Japanese Americans interned during World War II, the two stories take the take the form of what Roshni Rustomji-Kerns calls an important “geo-historical co-location”. She will introduce and discuss the documentary film in the context of questions and ideas generated during the last two Symposiums on Asians in the Americas.

The Third Symposium on Asians in the Americas builds on conversations and cutting-edge work presented in previous symposiums at Southeast Missouri State University in 2012 and Pepperdine University in 2013. Paper presentations will focus on Asians in the Americas from multidisciplinary perspectives such as history, anthropology, sociology, religion, art, education, literature, film, music, and popular culture. To date, scholarship in Asian American Studies has focused on East Asians—more so than South, Southeast, Central, and Western Asians—in North America. We especially encourage work-in-progress, new perspectives, and comparative and connective approaches that can bring research on Asians in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean into dialogue. While topics may focus on a specific group, country, or region, they will provide a general context to the hemisphere as a whole.

The events, free and open to the public, will take place at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick over three days: a film screening/discussion on Wednesday, October 1 from 6-8 p.m. (Livingston Student Center) and the academic symposium on Thursday, October 2 and Friday, October 3 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (Alexander Library Teleconference/Lecture Hall).

Presented by the Departments of American Studies and Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies

Sponsors

Asian American Cultural Center
Center for Latin American Studies
Center for Latino Arts and Culture
Center for Race and Ethnicity
Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers)
Collective for Asian American Studies
Critical Caribbean Studies
Department of American Studies
Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
Department of History
Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Rutgers University Libraries
SAS Office of the Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Organizers
Kathleen López, Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies / History, Rutgers University (kmlopez@rci.rutgers.edu)

Co-organizers
Rick H. Lee, Rutgers University (rick.lee@rutgers.edu)
Zelideth María Rivas, Marshall University (rivasz@marshall.edu)
Alejandro Lee, Central Washington University (Alejandro.Lee@cwu.edu)

ENEMY ALIEN at Resistance Cinema, NYC

The Community Church of New York
28 E. 35th Street
New York, NY 10016

ENEMY ALIEN website

RESISTANCE CINEMA concludes its summer season with an intriguing film by a local NYC based filmmaker. Enemy Alien begins with the quest of a Japanese American filmmaker, Konrad, to document the underside of the patriotic fervor comparing the attacks of September 11, 2001 and Pearl Harbor: the post-9/11 detentions of Muslims and internment of Japanese Americans. Finding these aftermaths to be not only historically resonant but linked by immigration policy, he soon finds his own life transformed by this theme as he becomes involved in the fight to free immigration detainee Farouk Abdel-Muhti.

Enemy Alien director Konrad Aderer will be present for a discussion following the screening.

Our Mission at The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist is to grow as a caring, justice-making, anti-racist, diverse, spiritual community.

Resistance Cinema website

ENEMY ALIEN at The Palestine Center in D.C.

Date: 
Friday, June 14, 2013 - 6:30pm

The Jerusalem Fund
2425 Virginia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20037

The Palestine Center

Event listing & reservations

A Japanese American filmmaker confronts his own family legacy of World War II incarceration as he joins the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Inspired by his grandfather’s unauthorized photographs of life in the camps, filmmaker Konrad Aderer turns the tools of surveillance back on the government, giving audiences an unprecedented glimpse behind the veil of the Homeland Security State. The charismatic Farouk organizes resistance among his fellow detainees, but as brutal abuse from immigration and prison officials begins to take its toll on his health, the fight for his freedom becomes a fight for his life.

Director Konrad Aderer will be present for discussion after the screening.

The Jerusalem Fund for Education & Community Development is an independent, non-profit, non-political, non-sectarian organization based in Washington, D.C. Funding for operational expenses is derived from investment income. This, together with donations from private individuals throughout the U.S., supports our humanitarian grants.

The Palestine Center, the educational program of the Jerusalem Fund, gives voice to the Palestinian narrative through policy briefings, lecture series, conferences, symposia, scholarly research publications and an extensive research library. The Center’s analysis emphasizes a Palestinian perspective on the peace process, the Right of Return and final status negotiations, elections, international law, media coverage of Israel and Palestine and U.S. foreign policy in the region.

ENEMY ALIEN at San Jose Peace and Justice Center

Date: 
Saturday, March 23, 2013 - 6:30pm

San Jose Peace and Justice Center
(between Santa Clara and San Fernando)
48 South 7th Street
San Jose, CA

SJPJC Poster

A Japanese American filmmaker confronts his own family legacy of World War II incarceration as he joins the fight to free Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian-born activist detained in a post-9/11 sweep of Muslim immigrants. Inspired by his grandfather’s unauthorized photographs of life in the camps, filmmaker Konrad Aderer turns the tools of surveillance back on the government, giving audiences an unprecedented glimpse behind the veil of the Homeland Security State. The charismatic Farouk organizes resistance among his fellow detainees, but as brutal abuse from immigration and prison officials begins to take its toll on his health, the fight for his freedom becomes a fight for his life.

Discussion after the film led by Masao Suzuki and Zahra Billoo.

Masao Suzuki is an Economics Professor at Skyline University and member of Nihonmachi Outreach Committee (NOC)

Zahra Billoo is the Executive Director of CAIR- SF Bay Area

Suggested Donation: $5-10. No one turned away for lack of funds.

This event is a collaboration with Life or Liberty (lifeorliberty.org), a nonprofit media project on immigrant detention and deportation.

This event is sponsored by South Bay Committee Against Political Repression (SBCAPR), San Jose Peace and Justice Center (SJPJC), Justice for Palestinians (JFP), Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS), Coalition for Justice and Accountability (CJA), Anakbayan Silicon Valley, Bayan USA Northern CA, and Green Party of Santa Clara County.

South Bay Committee Against Political Repression is screening Enemy Alien to continue to raise awareness about the 24 International Solidarity Activists, Anti-War Activists and Trade Union Activists who were raided and subpoeaned by the FBI in 2010 and the ongoing FBI harassment and targeting of Arabs, South Asians and Muslims living in the USA.

Summer-Fall 2012: Outreach, Production & Awards!

2012 has been a breakthrough year for Enemy Alien as well as for Life or Liberty's next project, the Tule Lake Documentary.

by Konrad Aderer, director

Enemy Alien, the story of imprisoned Palestinian activist Farouk Abdel-Muhti, touches on the resistance of Japanese American incarcerees at Tule Lake Segregation Center as a precedent for Farouk's struggle. What sets Enemy Alien apart from other documentaries on the targeting of Muslim immigrants from the beginning was its theme of resistance rather than passive endurance of injustice and abuse. Farouk was not a hapless cab driver focused on the American Dream, but a dedicated activist and open critic of U.S. policy.

Likewise, the stories featured in the Tule Lake Documentary upend the dominant narrative of how Japanese Americans coped with their incarceration in World War II. Rather than quiet acceptance or the patriotism of military service in the decorated 442nd regiment, these men and women embody courageous resistance which was met with severe reprisals and armed violence from the U.S. government.

July

At the 2012 pilgrimage to Tule Lake, participants saw and discussed Enemy Alien with me at two screenings. This trip was also a key stage in Life or Liberty’s next project, the Tule Lake Documentary (working title). I met more Tule Lake survivors, and witnessed some significant and moving moments showing major shifts in the community of former WW2 incarcerees.

The theme of the pilgrimage was "Understanding No-No and Renunciation”Starting in 1943, some 12,000 incarcerated people of Japanese ancestry were branded as “disloyals” because they refused to answer an unqualified “yes” to two key questions on an infamous “loyalty questionnaire.” After being segregated to the Tule Lake concentration camp, more than 5,000 applied to renounce their U.S. citizenship. The actions of incarcerees in this context had nothing to do with the government’s racist construction of “loyalty” and “disloyalty” but involved the need to protest the injustice of their incarceration and to safeguard their family members.

At the opening session, Tule Lake Committee member Barbara Takei asked the No-Nos and renunciants in the audience to stand and be recognized by the hundreds of other participants, who heartily applauded them. This was an epochal moment in the Japanese American community, where the need to show “loyalty” led to the exclusion and ostracism of the “no-nos.”

[watch video].

On the pilgrimage I also shot research footage for the Tule Lake Documentary, including views of the former camp site from the hike up Castle Rock.

September

On September 8, I went to Los Angeles for a screening of Enemy Alien at Japanese American National Museum, co-presented by CAIR-LA.

On that trip I interviewed eight former Tule Lake incarcerees in Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles. These subjects included an eyewitness to the summary execution of an unarmed incarceree by a U.S. Army soldier, and renunciants who journeyed with their families to struggle for survival in war-torn Japan for years before returning to the U.S.

October-November Scott BraleyDr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Hatem Abuddayeh and Konrad Aderer at Connecting Communities

The Boston Palestine Film Festival co-presented Enemy Alien with the Boston Asian American Film Festival at Harvard Law School. The screening was followed by intensive discussion with Palestinians, Asian Americans and activists on the dangerous expansion of surveillance and illegal detention programs in recent years.

The Buena Vista United Methodist Church in Alameda, CA hosted Connecting Communities, a screening of Enemy Alien followed by a panel discussion to launch The Stories of Palestinian Diaspora, an alliance between the Buena Vista Community Institute (BVCI) and the Arab Muslim Ethnicities Diaspora (AMERD) project at San Francisco State University.

The event was covered on KPFK, the Pacifica radio station in Berkeley. [listen.] I was also interviewed by KPFK, broadcast in a later program [listen]
The Criterion Project, CAIR-LA
Also prominent in the discussion was the recent controversy over CAAM’s partnering with the Israeli consulate to present the Israel-China Film Festival. This major breach of the growing boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement pointed up the need for more outreach and sharing between the Asian American and Palestinian communities. (disclosure: CAAM awarded a James Yee Fellowship for the development of Enemy Alien)

At CAIR-LA's annual banquet, I was honored to receive a "Courage in Media" award for Enemy Alien. They also presented me with a certificate establishing the Criterion Project to help people unjustly detained, "In memory of Farouk Abdel-Muhti, and all those who have died in the struggle for liberty and justice."

Konrad Aderer receives "Courage in Media" Award from CAIR

CAIR-LA to Present Filmmaker Konrad Aderer with "Courage in Media" Award

Date: 
Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 8:00pm

Anaheim Convention Center
800 West Katella Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92802

More: 

ENEMY ALIEN support(ANAHEIM, CA, 10/29/12) - On Nov. 3, CAIR-Greater Los Angeles Area office will present Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer with the 2012 "Courage in Media" Award for his extensive work in shedding light on communities worldwide affected by grave issues such as deportation and detention, economic crises, and poverty.

In one of his most recent films, Enemy Alien, produced under the Life or Liberty nonprofit multimedia endeavor, Aderer finds echoes of his own family's World War II incarceration in post-9/11 detentions of Muslim immigrants as he joins the fight to free the late Farouk Abdel-Muhti, a Palestinian activist detained by the DHS.

Join us on Saturday, Nov. 3, at CAIR-LA’s 16th Annual Banquet, Upholding Our Constitution | Defending Our Faith as we recognize Konrad Aderer for his work. Enemy Alien DVDs will also be available for purchase at the banquet.

Other featured speakers and honorees include Michael Ratner of Center for Constitutional Rights, and Nathan Lean, author of The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

CAIR logo
Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greater Los Angeles Area | 2180 W. Crescent Avenue | Suite F | Anaheim | CA | 92801

ENEMY ALIEN screening to launch joint Palestinian and Asian American project in CA

Date: 
Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 1:00pm

Buena Vista United Methodist Church
2311 Buena Vista Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501

Connecting Communities flyer

CONNECTING COMMUNITIES:
ASIAN AMERICAN & PALESTINIAN STORIES

Community forum to launch of the Stories of Palestinian Diaspora project

Featuring film screening of documentary Enemy Alien and dialogue with filmmaker, Konrad Aderer

Exploring Connections - Sharing Experiences of Struggle - Building Solidarity

The Stories of Palestinian Diaspora project is a collaboration between Buena Vista Community Institute (BVCI) and the Arab Muslim Ethnicities Diaspora (AMED) project at San Francisco State led by Dr. Rabab Abdulahadi.
In this project, Palestinians living the San Francisco Bay Area will be interviewed and their stories documented in the context of the general Palestinian diaspora experience and the Palestinian movement for their universal human rights in Palestine and around the world.

Discussion Participants:

Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diaspora (AMED) at SF State University
Hatem Abuddayeh, Arab American Action Network
Konrad Aderer, director of Enemy Alien
Abla Harara, activist, EAP Equality Coalition
Lara Kiswani, Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
Karen Korematsu, Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education
Peggy Saika, Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Rev. Naomi Southard, Berkeley Methodist United Church
Rev. Michael Yoshii, Buena Vista United Methodist Church

ENEMY ALIEN at Boston Palestine Film Festival

Date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 8:00pm

Harvard Law School
Austin Hall
1515 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138

Harvard Law School

Enemy Alien will be screening as a selection of the Boston Palestine Film Festival. Co-presented with the Boston Asian American Film Festival and Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine. Free and open to the public. Director Konrad Aderer will be present for discussion after the screening.

ENEMY ALIEN screening at Japanese American National Museum

Date: 
Saturday, September 8, 2012 - 2:00pm

Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90012

Japanese American National Museum

Filmmaker Konrad Aderer finds echoes of his own family’s World War II internment in post-9/11 detentions of Muslim immigrants and joins the fight to free Farouk, a Palestinian activist who organizes resistance among his fellow detainees.

Q&A with filmmaker to follow screening. Free with Museum admission. Reservations recommended to rsvp@janm.org or 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours prior.

janm.org

ENEMY ALIEN insight: the opening

See video

A box of redacted FBI files challenges a filmmaker to reveal what it hides.

This opening scene of the documentary was the last one shot. When Farouk's FBI files arrived, three years after I'd requested them under the Freedom of Information Act, I came to a realization about why I was destined to tell his story, and how through this film I was also telling my own.

ENEMY ALIEN Indiegogo campaign
Like many, I shared the hope that Obama’s presidency would restore respect for human rights to my government. But when this scene was shot I was realizing my hope was in vain. The detention of immigrants had risen to a historic high of some 400,000 per year, and government transparency and accountability was declining in stealthy and dangerous ways.

As I’m opening a box full of pages from Farouk’s FBI file, I see many of the pages are blank or heavily redacted. At a press conference Obama responds to demands that the perpetrators of civil rights abuses and war crimes committed under the Bush administration be held accountable: “I think we should be looking forward and not backward.” His glib rejoinder presents the antithesis this documentary takes on.

What’s the thesis of Enemy Alien? That through finding shared meaning in our personal and community histories, we inspire the solidarity to stand up to state violence and oppression. This documentary begins with documents and clothes them in lived experience and struggle.

More on the Freedom of Information Act request for Farouk's files:
Getting the FBI's files on Farouk
Appealing for the Release of Farouk's Full FBI File