Paperback / softback
December 11, 2018
9.00 Inches (US)
9.00 Inches (US)
0.70 Inches (US)
2.1 Pounds (US)
$38.99 USD, £26.99 GBP
v2.1 Reference

The Stories Were Not Told

Canada's First World War Internment Camps

From 1914 to 1920, thousands of men who had immigrated to Canada from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire were unjustly imprisoned as "enemy aliens," some with their families. Many communities in Canada where internees originated do not know these stories of Ukrainians, Germans, Bulgarians, Croatians, Czechs, Hungarians, Italians, Jews, Alevi Kurds, Armenians, Ottoman Turks, Poles, Romanians, Russians, Serbians, Slovaks, and Slovenes, amongst others. While most internees were Ukrainians, almost all were civilians.

The Stories Were Not Told presents this largely unrecognized event through photography, cultural theory, and personal testimony, including stories told at last by internees and their descendants. Semchuk describes how lives and society have been shaped by acts of legislated discrimination and how to move toward greater reconciliation, remembrance, and healing. This is necessary reading for anyone seeking to understand the cross-cultural and intergenerational consequences of Canada's first national internment operations.

About the Authors

Sandra Semchuk is a photographic, text, and video artist, and the winner of a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts (2018). She taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.


"To dwell in this book's pages is to experience dismay, sadness and sobering revelation. Finally though, a century later, internment stories are being told, making our nation's history more authentic."—Steven Ross

"The book is a melding of Semchuk's personal journey, visual art, narrative, and recall.... The Stories Were Not Told is an intriguing composition, stimulating thought and offering an artistic integrative approach to history and culture.... This grounding of the human experience through a variety of approaches reveals more than history per se." [Full review at]—Keith Regular, The Ormsby Review, May 13, 2020

"[The author] underscores the linkage between the past and the present and the potential implications of not doing the individual and collective "memory work" that forces us to confront our personal and national histories in a meaningful and respectful fashion. It is a powerful invocation—and one we should heed."—Jim Mochoruk, Prairie History


"This is a record of the author's personal voyage through difficult terrain, mingling her voice with others, and using the visual touchstones of photography to move her reader's imagination outward."—Andrea Kunard, Associate Curator

9781772123784 : the-stories-were-not-told-semchuk-budney
Paperback / softback
312 Pages
$38.99 USD

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