Welcome to the Mass Capture project page!

Mass Capture is now book! Read the glorious Open Access edition. If you’d like to hold it in your hands, buy the beautiful hardcopy edition.

This project examines an extraordinary collection of Chinese Canadian head tax certificates known as CI 9s in order to understand the relationship between surveillance and the production of non-citizens in Canada. The CI 9s constitute the first mass use of identification photography in Canada and tracked the movements of thousands of Chinese migrants in the early half of the twentieth century.

Mass Capture is a project that analyzes the construction of non-citizens in Canada through the exploration of Chinese immigrants documented between 1910 and 1953 under the “Chinese Immigration 9” (CI 9) certificates.

CI 9 certificates were used by the federal government of Canada until 1953 to track the movements of people of Chinese origin who temporarily left Canada.

Although Chinese immigrants were subject to a head tax between 1885 and 1923, the Chinese Immigration Act remained in force until it was repealed by Parliament in 1947. The episodes of the Chinese Exclusion Era have generated substantial documentation that has left traces from the historical process of making non-citizens. Attending to the mechanisms by which non-citizens are made, we hypothesize that non-citizens are not simply made—they are captured.

Link to the images in Storymaps Platform (BETA)


YCAR copy