Traces of America's dark history still haunt us today. Join us as we confront our history through film, poetry and conversation from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium, 206-386-4636.

Library events are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Parking is available in the Central Library garage for $7 after 5 p.m.

Ellany Kayce (Tlingit Nation/Raven-Frog) will open and close the program. The program will feature a screening of Daryn Wakasa's short horror film, "Seppuku" (2017), which treats the lingering effects of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans as a form of intergenerational haunting.

Poet Melissa Bennett will also share writing that explores the painful resonances of the boarding school and mental health systems that separate Native people from their culture, home land, language, faith, family and community.

Wakasa and Bennett will then discuss their work in conversation, exploring overlaps in Japanese American and Indigenous history, and creative possibilities for healing in community. The coming together of these two communities is an important alliance for the historical moment we find ourselves in now. The event will be followed by a short convivial gathering in order to create additional space for conversation and connection.


Wakasa was born and raised in East Los Angeles. His storytelling lives in the liminal space—between graphic design, animation and film, between gaman (keep your troubles to yourself) and NWA’s “Express Yourself,” between the spirit world and physical. Between Japanese and American. Wakasa has worked in the entertainment industry for over 13 years. As a creative director at companies like Elastic and Mirada (co-founded by Guillermo del Toro & Mathew Cullen), Wakasa  led everything from film development projects, to music videos, to interactive projects, to transmedia projects. He has worked with brands like IBM, Disney, HP, and Chevy as well as artists like Katy Perry.

Bennett (Umatilla/Nimiipuu/Sac & Fox/Anishinaabe), M.Div. is a writer, storyteller, educator and spiritual care provider. She is interested in story as medicine, especially its ability to heal historical trauma among indigenous communities. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Melissa's work focuses on social justice, culture, tradition, and spirituality. Melissa was a 2015 recipient of the Evergreen State College Longhouse Native Creative Development Grant and is a member of the Macondo Writers Workshop—an association of socially engaged writers working to advance creativity, foster generosity, and serve community.


This event is presented in partnership with Densho, a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving, educating and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to deepen understanding of American history and inspire action for equity. Densho is a Japanese term meaning “to pass on to the next generation,” or to leave a legacy.

The event is sponsored by Evergreen Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF).

The "House of Welcome" Longhouse Education and Cultural Center opened in 1995 at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. As a public service center of The Evergreen State College, the Longhouse’s mission is to promote Indigenous arts and cultures through education, cultural preservation, creative expression, and economic development.

SAAFF showcases feature-length and short format films by and about Asian Americans across North America, with an emphasis on filmmakers from the Pacific Northwest.

The Library's dynamic approach to building community that enriches lives includes programming that brings people, information and ideas together to respect and embrace the well-being of the people we serve. We celebrate Seattle’s many cultures by forming strong partnerships with community organizations.