MoJo Author Feeds: Jeremy Lybarger | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/authors/80861 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en "I'm a Man in a Dress, and I'm Not Afraid to Show That" http://www.motherjones.com/media/2015/04/aunt-charlies-drag-james-hosking <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On a Saturday afternoon, Olivia Hart gets dressed in her pay-by-the-week hotel room before heading out to <a href="http://www.auntcharlieslounge.com/" target="_blank">Aunt Charlie's Lounge</a>, one of the last gay bars in San Francisco's tough Tenderloin neighborhood. Fifty-four-year-old Olivia is one of several veteran drag performers profiled in <a href="http://jameshosking.com/beautiful-by-night/" target="_blank"><em>Beautiful by Night</em></a>, a documentary and photo series by filmmaker and photographer James Hosking. Olivia (a.k.a. Frank) says that drag is both a screen and a way of shedding her skin. "Olivia and I are pretty much one and the same," she says. But, she adds, "my thing is not being a female illusionist where I look dead-on like a woman. I'm a man in a dress, and I'm not afraid to show that."</p> <center><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="//player.vimeo.com/video/106252146?badge=0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></center> <center><em><a href="http://vimeo.com/106252146">Beautiful By Night</a></em> by <a href="http://vimeo.com/jameshosking">James Hosking</a></center> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%201%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Gustavo holds a photo of himself as Donna Personna. </strong> James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%202%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Gustavo puts on breast pads. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%203%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Gustavo transforms into Donna. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%204%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Donna in her apartment. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%205%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Collette LeGrande. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%206%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Collette in her apartment. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%207%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Frank becomes Olivia Hart in his hotel room. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%208%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Frank applies fake eyelashes. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%209%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Frank, mid-transformation, pauses for a cigarette. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2010%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Olivia, on her way to Aunt Charlie's. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2011%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Olivia nears Aunt Charlie's Lounge. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2012%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Donna makes her way down Turk Street prior to the show. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2013%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Olivia fixes her jewelry backstage. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2014%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Donna gets ready for the show. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2015%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Donna prior to her number. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2016%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Collette makes a final check before her performance. </strong>James Hosking</div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/James%20Hosking%2017%20630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Collette performs "Sunny" by Boney M. </strong></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Photo Essays Film and TV Media Sex and Gender Top Stories Fri, 17 Apr 2015 10:00:14 +0000 Photographs by James Hosking; Text by Jeremy Lybarger 269031 at http://www.motherjones.com Photobook Documents the Travails of Transgender Cubans http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/transcuba-transgender-photos-cuba-castro <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Malu" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_04-2-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Malu with her parents and sister, in front of their home </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>Of all the allies in the global fight for LGBT equality, Cuba may be the most unlikely. For decades, the island was notorious for its crackdown on "social deviants"&mdash;an underclass that included homosexuals, transgender people, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and anyone critical of the Castro regime. The 1960s were especially bleak. Deemed unfit for the revolution, gay Cubans were banned from joining the military or becoming teachers. Thousands were confined to isolated labor camps. Conditions deteriorated further in the '80s and '90s as Cuba quarantined HIV-positive citizens, many of whom were gay.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="TransCuba" class="image" src="/files/Transcuba_Cover_72ppi.png"></div> <p>Mariette Pathy Allen's new photobook, <a href="http://daylightbooks.org/store/mariette-pathy-allen-transcuba"><em>TransCuba</em></a> (Daylight Books), captures a country slowly outgrowing its history of persecution. Shot in 2012 and 2013, the book is haunted by the trauma inflicted by Fidel Castro's government. But it is optimistic about life under his brother, Ra&uacute;l, who assumed the presidency in 2008. Since the change in power, Cuba's Ministry of Public Health has approved <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/06/06/idUSN06395397">state-funded sex reassignment surgery</a>, and the government has relaxed many discriminatory policies targeting sexual orientation and gender. In 2012, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/18/cuban-transsexual-adela-hernandez-elected%20">Adela Hern&aacute;ndez</a> became the country's first openly transgender person elected to public office. Perhaps most shockingly, in a 2010 interview with the Mexican newspaper <a href="http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/fidel-castro-takes-blame-for-1960s-gay-persecution/article1691613/%20"><em>La Jornada</em></a>, Fidel Castro called his decision to imprison homosexuals in the 1960's "a great injustice&hellip;I'm not going to place the blame on others," Castro said, "We had so many and such terrible problems, problems of life or death."</p> <p>Despite its progressive reforms, Cuba continues to have serious problems, particularly with transgender rights. "I see transgender Cubans as a metaphor for Cuba itself: people living between genders in a country moving between doctrines," Allen writes. The women she documents are grateful for the increasing tolerance, but they still suffer from entrenched stigmas. Natalie, for example, was denied a factory job because of her appearance. She began hooking to make ends meet, and picked up HIV at age 18. She also had a run-in with police that escalated, at which point an officer "hit [her] until he didn't feel like it anymore." She was imprisoned for inciting violence.</p> <p>Allen's other protagonists share similar tales of woe. Amanda, a 36-year-old prostitute with HIV, tried twice to get to the United States, and twice failed. She was taken to Guant&aacute;namo Bay, where she begged her English-speaking captors to return her to the streets of Havana.</p> <p>Another subject, Alsola, spent two years studying psychology and medicine at a school in Santiago de Cuba, the country's second-largest city. School policy mandated that students respect the dress code of their birth gender, so she dropped out rather than conform. "My life is nothing special," she says now.</p> <p>Allen's portraits are moving proof to the contrary. <em>TransCuba</em> follows her two previous photobooks&mdash;<a href="http://www.mariettepathyallen.com/gender/transformations/black-and-white/"><em>Transformations</em></a> (1989) and <a href="http://www.mariettepathyallen.com/gender/gender-frontier/%20"><em>The Gender Frontier</em></a> (2003)&mdash;capping a loose trilogy that is one of contemporary photography's most poignant explorations of gender identity. Her portraits, whether shot in Cuba or the United States, remind us that looking is a political act, and seeing a revolutionary one. Although Allen's subjects face the camera instead of a jury or a firing squad, their expressions bear the same frank entreaty for compassion. To quote Yanet, another Allen subject: "We all have implausible dreams, things that make no sense, we all have fantasies." <em>TransCuba</em> is a testament to the difficult, intoxicating, sometimes tragic work of realizing who we are.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Alsola " class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_03-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Alsola, Santiago de Cuba </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Charito" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_01-2-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Charito at home with her week-old piglet, Camag&uuml;ey </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Paloma" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_04-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Paloma with her boyfriend at Mi Cayito beach, near Havana </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Nomi" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_11-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Partners Nomi and Miguel at Malu's apartment, Havana </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Laura" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_08-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Laura at home, Havana </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Erika" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_05-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Erika at home, Cienfuegos </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Window" class="image" src="/files/TransCuba_top40_03-2-web.png"><div class="caption"><strong>The view from Natalie's window in Havana </strong> Mariette Pathy Allen</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Photo Essays Books Gay Rights Human Rights International Sex and Gender Top Stories Thu, 08 May 2014 10:00:05 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 251126 at http://www.motherjones.com Forget Vladimir Putin's Olympic Fantasy and Check Out the Real Sochi http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/01/photos-sochi-russia-olympics-caucasus <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="Tatyana Mikhailovna Trubina, 49, on holiday. Sochi, 2011. " class="image" src="/files/tatiana-630px_0.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Tatyana Mikhailovna Trubina, 49, on holiday. Sochi, 2011. </strong>All photos by Rob Hornstra / Flatland Gallery, from <a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Sochi-Project-Tourism-Caucasus/dp/1597112445" target="_blank">An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus</a> (Aperture, 2013).</div> </div> <p>By now, you may have heard that the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is a shitshow. With its <a href="http://summergames.ap.org/article/russian-oligarchs-foot-most-2014-sochi-olympics">$51 billion price tag</a>, <a href="http://www.policymic.com/articles/58649/russia-s-anti-gay-law-spelled-out-in-plain-english">Russia's LGBT crackdown</a>, reports of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/04/sochi-olympics-2014_n_2070784.html">forced eviction</a>, <a href="http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/10/02/russia-sochi-migrant-workers-targeted-expulsion">unlawfully detained migrant laborers</a>, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/sochi-olympics-a-monstrous-scam-2013-5">rampant embezzlement</a>, and <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/locals-count-toxic-cost-of-sochi-games-builders-are-dumping-waste-polluting-rivers-and-cutting-off-villages-ahead-of-winter-olympics-8975115.html">environmental degradation</a>&mdash;it's been the PR equivalent of herpes. What you may not know is that Sochi itself lies on the doorstep of long-simmering ethnic and territorial conflicts. Just across the mountains from the Olympic Village is the North Caucasus, a chain of seven autonomous republics that are home to more than 30 nationalities and as many languages. It's a volatile region roamed by separatist groups, Islamic Salafists, and terrorists-in-training. Almost all of Russia's major terrorist events originated there, including the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033100147.html">2010 Moscow metro bombing</a> that killed 39 people and injured dozens more. (Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/study-media-coverage-boston-marathon-sandy-hook-newtown-trauma" target="_blank">Boston Marathon</a> bombers, spent six months in Dagestan and Chechyna in 2012&mdash;a visit the FBI is <a href="http://en.ria.ru/world/20131114/184717427.html">still investigating</a>.)</p> <p>South of the Caucasus and abutting Sochi are Georgia and its two breakaway states, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Although Georgia considers both countries part of the motherland, each has recently gained limited diplomatic recognition, but little has changed. Poverty and violence are endemic: Georgia's 15 percent unemployment rate and rampant IV drug use has sapped the country. Rolling blackouts keep Tbilisi, the capital city, permanently on edge. Meanwhile, in Sochi,&nbsp;stadiums resembling spaceships have risen up overnight, while&nbsp;Vladimir Putin's soothing face appears on television to assure everyone that "Sochi is going to become a new world-class resort."</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-cover.png"></div> <p>Surreal may be one of the more abused words in our language, but what has happened in Sochi over the last six years is undeniably surreal. A new photobook, <a href="http://www.aperture.org/shop/the-sochi-project-rob-hornstra-books"><em>The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus</em></a>, documents the strangeness from the inside out. A five-year collaboration of photographer Ron Hornstra and writer Arnold van Bruggen, it introduces us to the real Sochi and the rugged individuals who call the Caucasus home.</p> <p>A resort town on the Black Sea, Sochi is often considered&nbsp;Russia's summer playground&mdash;but it has seen better days. Its selection as an Olympics host city is bewildering in light of how unprepared it was to accommodate a crush of foreign spectators. Here's how coauthor van Bruggen describes Sochi circa 2009: "The airport is like a bus stop, the kind more common in the hinterland of the former Soviet Union than in an international travel destination. One narrow road clings to the endless coast heading northwest. Another climbs up into the mountains and is so treacherous and winding that it claims countless victims every year. Sochi is a coastal city without a commercial port. All goods are transported along this single, busy coastal road, which is not designed to handle the traffic. The result is daily gridlock and endless traffic jams. For the Games, all the infrastructure and facilities have to build from scratch."</p> <p>So Sochi has become a boomtown. New condos and hotels hack the skyline; restaurants, bars, and coffee shops pop up with dizzying speed; a fresh topography of highways slices the region. But what happens after the Games? Will all the development bring an economic rejuvenation, or will the new construction go the way of the massive sanitariums&mdash;Lenin's "palaces for the proletariat"&mdash;that now stand obsolete and ruined? Either way, the region's fate may boil down to etiquette. As one local told the authors: "The Soviet mentality and rudeness that still prevail here scare people away."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-highrise-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Sochi was established as a fashionable resort area under Joseph Stalin. </strong>Rob Hornstra / Flatland Gallery</div> </div> <p>Hornstra's portraits nail beautifully the regional cocktail of stoicism and gloom. His subjects include an old man building his own coffin in an apartment by the Black Sea, a former cop who lost his legs and an arm and is now confined to bed; the postmaster of Abkhazia (a country that doesn't officially exist); a young stripper who hopes to quit the gig and raise a family. Interspersed throughout&nbsp;are harrowing inventories of death, drugs, poverty, exile, and almost constant warfare.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-oldsoldier-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Roman Eloev, 88, who fought for the Soviets in his shed near the Georgia border. Ortshosa, South Ossetia, 2011. </strong>Rob Hornstra / Flatland Gallery</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-guns-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Brothers Zashrikwa, 17, and Edrese, 14, at the home of relatives in the Kodori Valley, a remote mountainous region straddling the Georgia border. Kuabchara, Abkhazia, 2009. </strong>Rob Hornstra / Flatland Gallery</div> </div> <p>The subject matter is heavy, but van Bruggen leavens the despair with absurdist observations. He encounters, for example, a mock African king presiding over the beach on a leopard-skin throne while tourists queue for pictures. Elsewhere he describes the smells of "sunscreen, sweat, alcohol, and roasting meat" that pervade the seashore. Hornstra also does his part to inject levity: A portrait of a beefy woman back-lit against the sea suggests an ironic fashion ad, while another of a debonair senior in a&nbsp;Speedo thrums with wryness. You almost believe these beachcombers occupy a land of perpetual leisure, and were it not for the Brutalist Soviet architecture on succeeding pages you might go on believing it.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-beach-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>A day at the beach. Adler, Russia, 2011. </strong></div> </div> <p>But leisure, where it's to be had in Sochi, comes amid torrential amounts of vodka; you can practically hear the Stoli bottles chiming in the background of each photo. In one memorable moment, Hornstra and van Bruggen are invited to a family dinner that quickly erodes into a booze-soaked sideshow that ends with the grandfather keeling over against a tree. As amusing as such incidents may be&mdash;and as consonant with Russian clich&eacute;s&mdash;they also suggest a deeper unhappiness. The North Caucasus is the land that time forgot, and its inhabitants live a few pegs below the poverty line. An atmosphere of malaise hangs over shots of Tbilisi and its apartment interiors; even people's living rooms have an industrial quality. It's easy to imagine the rigor mortis of the furniture and the air's slaughterhouse chill.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-skinned-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Husey Aibasov and Georgi Ekzekov slaughter a lamb for their guests.<br> Krasny Vostok, Russia, 2010.</strong></div> </div> <p>The exteriors aren't much brighter. Caucasian hamlets share a dispiriting grayness&mdash;wrecked factories, eternal mud, battered grass. Nonetheless, Hornstra's camera embraces the landscape, lending even the ugliest stretch of countryside a painterly grandeur. Some of his most striking shots chart Sochi's development from a relative backwater to something more faux-chic. Where there was once a postcard-perfect hillside of trees there now exists an incongruous high-rise; where there was once an empty field, there's now a floodlit skating rink.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Olga-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>Olga, twenty-nine, is the manager of a strip club in Zhemchuzhina Hotel (meaning "pearl") in the center of Sochi. </strong></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/sochi-car-630px.png"><div class="caption"><strong>A kindergarten used as shelter for Abkhazian refugees from the Georgian-Abkhazian war in 1992-93. Shamgona, Georgia, 2010.</strong></div> </div> <p>The copy on the dust jacket compares the book to <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Let-Now-Praise-Famous-Men/dp/0618127496"><em>Let Us Now Praise Famous Men</em></a>, the classic 1941 collaboration between writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans. Although that's marketing fluff, <em>The Sochi Project</em> does have a magisterial quality beyond just its physical heft (which, at 412 pages, is considerable). The scope of the project, its breadth and doggedness, is awesome. And while few individual photos are ones for the ages, their cumulative effect is a book more brutal, lyrical, and ambitious than almost any other photobook this year. It's a major achievement.</p></body></html> Media Photo Essays Books Human Rights International Sports Top Stories Sochi Olympics Thu, 02 Jan 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 240396 at http://www.motherjones.com Photos of San Francisco Before the Silicon Valley Bros Invaded http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/12/photos-san-francisco-janet-delaney-south-market <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>San Francisco's housing market became the nation's priciest this year, with a median rent of $3,414 across all units. If you've been paying attention, you've probably come across a media report&mdash;or a lament, or a tirade&mdash;about what's been happening in the City by the Bay as it increasingly becomes a bedroom community for Silicon Valley and a tech center in its own right. Namely: a 170 percent increase in <a href="http://www.sftu.org/ellis.html">Ellis Act evictions</a>, an <a href="http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324694904578602013087282582" target="_blank">8 percent rent hike</a> during a single quarter this year, <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/the-stream/the-latest/2013/11/1/gentrification-insanfrancisco.html">runaway gentrification</a>, <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/10/new-private-club-in-san-francisco.html">techie elitism</a>, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/10/us-google-protest-idUSBRE9B818J20131210">class warfare</a>, and <a href="http://www.thebolditalic.com/articles/2943-the-homogenization-of-san-francisco-">the end of everything artistic and independent</a> as we know it.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="South of Market " class="image" src="/files/south_of_market_cover.png"></div> <p>South of Market, or SoMa, is one of the neighborhoods most affected by San Francisco's post-millennial boom. Once a nondescript refuge for working-class families, SoMa has recently transformed into an epicenter for startups, luxury condos, tony restaurants and breweries, boutique shops, and lofts. It's emblematic of both the city's encroaching corporatism and America's ever-widening income inequality. For many native San Franciscans, it's also a harbinger of worse to come.</p> <p>Janet Delaney's new book, <a href="http://www.mackbooks.co.uk/books/1005-South-of-Market.html"><em>South of Market</em></a>, is a photographic record of SoMa's first great makeover, which began in the 1960s. That's when the city announced plans to build a 300,000-square-foot convention center&mdash;named for slain San Francisco Mayor George Moscone&mdash;in the heart of SoMa. Poor and elderly residents protested, accurately, saying that they'd be displaced; the city nonetheless approved the construction,&nbsp;and by 1981 Moscone Center occupied 10&nbsp;acres of prime downtown real estate. To make room for this gleaming testament to civic pride, scores of low-income housing units&mdash;including several historic residential hotels&mdash;were bulldozed. Nearby rents swelled almost 300 percent. A mini-exodus to the <a href="http://brokeassstuart.com/blog/2010/04/12/things-you-will-see-if-you-tour-the-tenderloin-nsfw/">picturesque Tenderloin</a> and points west ensued. Once the dust settled, it was clear the neighborhood had permanently changed. No longer affordable, it began its long second act as a playground for entrepreneurs and real-estate salespeople.</p> <p>Delaney began documenting the neighborhood in 1978. Her&nbsp;book chronicles a city in flux, but it's not unequivocally bleak. For every photo of a demolished hotel or evicted family, there's an elegantly composed shot of children skipping rope, business owners posing proudly in their shops, and streetscapes of hushed,&nbsp;now elegiac,&nbsp;beauty. Her interviews with longtime residents reveal outrage at the city's indifference and anxiety about climbing rents, along with fear of a new soullessness. "There's a lot of people here that weren't here yesterday," says one, and we can see in Delaney's photos a new architecture of privilege as well. "You&rsquo;ll find a great deal of the present in the past," Delaney told me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Bobby_Washington_and_her_daughter_Ayana%2C28_Langton_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Bobby Washington and her daughter Ayana, 28 Langton Street</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Park_Hotel_429_Folsom_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Park Hotel, 429 Folsom Street</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Longtime%20neighbors%2C%20Lanton%20at%20Folsom%20Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Longtime neighbors, Langton at Folsom Street </strong>Janet Delaney</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Greyhound_Bs_Depot%2C7th_between_Mission_and_Market_Streets.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Greyhound Bus Depot, 7th Street between Mission and Market </strong>Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Flag_Makers_Natoma_at_3rd_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Flag Makers, Natoma at 3rd Street </strong>Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Saturday_afternoon_Howard_between_3rd_and_4th_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Saturday afternoon, Howard between 3rd and 4th streets</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Langton_Park%2C_Langton_and_Howard_Streets.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Langton Park, Langton and Howard streets</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Remains_of_the_July_10th_five_alarm_fire_Hallam_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Remains of a five-alarm fire on Hallam Street</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2nd_at_Market_Street.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Market at 2nd Street</strong> Janet Delaney</div> </div></body></html> Media Photo Essays Books Media Tech Top Stories Fri, 20 Dec 2013 11:00:10 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 241626 at http://www.motherjones.com Spy Camp: Photos From East Germany's Secret Intelligence Files http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/12/photos-east-germany-stasi-simon-menner-surveillance <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-header-630x490_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>Stasi agents learned how to don (supposedly) inconspicuous disguises. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.</div> </div> <p>Like most government agencies, the NSA lacks a sense of humor; instead, it has paranoia, which can be unintentionally comic. Case in point: The agency's recent cease-and-desist letter to Dan McCall, an online vendor whose <a href="http://www.cafepress.com/libertymaniacs/10128143">parody t-shirts</a> raised NSA hackles. The agency, along with the Department of Homeland Security, cites copyright infringement&mdash;it's illegal to appropriate the NSA logo for commercial use (especially after it's been "mutilated"). Depending on your mood, the crackdown on satire is either disproportionate enough to be amusing, or totalitarian enough to be, well, totalitarianism.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><a href="http://www.hatjecantz.de/fotoblog/?p=2155"><img alt="" class="image" height="274" src="/files/top-secret-cover_0.jpg" width="232"></a></div> <p>Simon Menner's new photobook, <a href="http://www.hatjecantz.de/simon-menner-top-secret-5654-1.html"><em>Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives,</em></a> reminds us that the difference between terror and kitsch is mostly one of proximity. Per the book's subtitle, the images were culled from the vast archives of East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, which spied on, bugged, interrogated, intimidated, murdered, and otherwise bullied its citizenry for 40 years. According to Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor turned Nazi-hunter, the Stasi was "much, much worse than the Gestapo, if you consider only the oppression of its own people."</p> <p>Indeed, the numbers are staggering: When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Stasi records show that it had 91,000 employees on the payroll, along with around 173,000 unofficial collaborators. Given East Germany's population of 17 million, this amounts to one informer per 6.5 citizens&mdash;or, as author John O. Koehler more viscerally puts it, "It would not have been unreasonable to assume that at least one Stasi informer was present in any party of 10 or 12 dinner guests." In Koehler's book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Stasi-Untold-German-Secret-Police/dp/0813337445"><em>Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police,</em></a> former Stasi Colonel Rainer Wiegand estimated that the total number of informers was as high as two million.</p> <p>Think about what that means. Phones were tapped, mail was intercepted and read, families betrayed each other, apartment buildings and hotels crawled with informers, surveillance cameras abounded. A special division was tasked with inspecting garbage, while holes drilled into walls became the unofficial calling card of Stasi spooks. On the threshold of German reunification, approximately six million people were under surveillance.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-hitchhiker-630x420_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>From the Stasi's catalog of disguises. </strong>Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.</div> </div> <p>All of this was part of a more systematic program called <em>zersetzung</em> ("decomposition") that wreaked psychological havoc across East Germany. The idea was to disrupt people's sense of normalcy by employing "soft torture" techniques. "Tactics included removing pictures from walls, replacing one variety of tea with another, and even sending a vibrator to a target's wife," noted the <em><a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/sep/23/russia-targeting-western-diplomats">Guardian</a></em>. "Usually victims had no idea the Stasi were responsible. Many thought they were going mad; some suffered breakdowns; a few killed themselves."</p> <p>Repressive regimes around the globe turned to the Stasi for its surveillance bona fides: The secret police of Angola, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Syria, Uganda, and Yemen were all clients. In the 1980s, the Stasi and the KGB collaborated to spread propaganda that HIV/AIDS originated in US government laboratories (<a href="https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol53no4/pdf/U-%20Boghardt-AIDS-Made%20in%20the%20USA-17Dec.pdf">PDF</a>). And an <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/aug/01/baader-meinhof-gang-founder-stasi">investigation leaked in 2011</a> suggested a link between the Stasi and Horst Mahler, a founding member of West Germany's Red Army Faction (also known as Baader-Meinhof), raising questions about just how deeply the spy agency had infiltrated its anti-communist neighbor.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-shadow-630x420_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>Agents learned to trail a target without being noticed. </strong>Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-shadow2-630x410_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>From a film showing agents how to shadow suspects.</strong> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Once it became apparent that the Iron Curtain was fraying, Stasi agents scrambled to destroy incriminating documents, including thousands of photographs. On January 15, 1990, protestors stormed Stasi headquarters and prevented a complete wipeout. That October, a newly reunified Germany established <a href="http://www.bstu.bund.de/EN/Home/home_node.html" target="_blank">a government agency</a>, BStU, to preserve the old records, which were declassified two years later. Millions of Germans have been able to share the surreal experience of perusing their own surveillance reports.<br> &nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-moustache-315x480_2.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>An agent learns to apply facial hair. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-ripped-315x480_2.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>An image damaged in the Stasi purge. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Menner spent two years combing the vast archives&mdash;a combined 50 miles of shelving that included 1.4 million photographs, slides, and negatives. His book is divided into chapters with innocuous titles such as "Wigs and their Application," "How to Apply Fake Facial Hair," and "Disguising as Western Tourists." There's a tension&mdash;which these titles exploit&mdash;between our inclination to read the photos as kitsch and the ominous history they represent. The photos were rehearsals for surveillance, arrest, interrogation, and blackmail; they are unnerving mementos of a government intoxicated by control. And what seems quaint or campy or mundane at first blush is harrowing in retrospect.</p> <p>Case in point: the Polaroids that Stasi agents took during their routine home break-ins. These shots of kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms, which depict life in a typical East German apartment, have a bland predatory quality&mdash;a <em>knowingness</em>&mdash;that's disturbing. Equally so is Menner's note that agents used the Polaroids as a reference for returning a room to its prior state after ransacking it. The artlessness of the images only intensifies their eeriness.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the book offers a field guide for espionage. Agents demonstrate secret hand signals, shadow suspects, and rendezvous on desolate roads. Mock arrests are staged in dismal rooms, the agents' faces inexpertly redacted with a black Sharpie. Houses are searched and possessions cataloged. Unease tinges a photo of a teenager's bedroom wallpapered with Madonna clippings&mdash;Western sympathies, if simply of the pop-culture variety, could be cause for an investigation, or worse.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-handsign-420x420_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>An agent transmits a secret hand sign. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-arrest-630x420_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>A mock arrest. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-confiscated-630x441_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Contents of a confiscated package. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.</div> </div> <p><em>Top Secret</em> is a timely rejoinder to those who argue that the NSA is a necessary evil, and it's even more timely in light of the revelation that the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24992485">NSA targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel</a> for eavesdropping. The US is not East Germany, and the NSA is not the Stasi, but they share a common taproot of fear. While the NSA may not resort to the Stasi's cruelest methods, it lords over one of the most sophisticated and pervasive intelligence apparatuses on the planet. Would it be surprising if, decades from now, someone found similar relics in the NSA archive?</p> <p>But the NSA recently offered this comforting nugget to the <em><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-growth-fueled-by-need-to-target-terrorists/2013/07/21/24c93cf4-f0b1-11e2-bed3-b9b6fe264871_story.html">Washington Post</a></em>: "The notion of constant, unchecked, or senseless growth is a myth." So relax, your secrets are safe.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-costume-420x600_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>Stasi agents amused themselves by dressing up as their enemies&mdash;in this case, the Church. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.<br> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/menner-disguise-lady-315x483_0.gif"><div class="caption"><strong>From the Stasi handbook of disguises. </strong><br> Simon Menner and BStU, 2013.</div> </div></body></html> Media Photo Essays Books Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Top Stories Offbeat photography Sat, 07 Dec 2013 12:00:05 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 239466 at http://www.motherjones.com Can Photojournalism Survive in the Instagram Era? http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/07/bending-the-frame-fred-ritchin-photojournalism-instagram <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In late May, the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> took the unprecedented move of gutting its photography department by <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/business/media/chicago-sun-times-lays-off-all-its-full-time-photographers.html?_r=0">laying off 28 full-time employees</a>, including John H. White, a 35-year veteran who had won the paper a Pulitzer. The nation's 8th largest newspaper figured it could cut costs by hiring freelancers and training reporters to shoot iPhone photos, to which <em>Chicago Tribune</em> photographer <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/assignment-chicago/2013/05/the-idiocy-of-eliminating-a-photo-staff.html?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AssignmentChicago+%28Assignment+Chicago%29">Alex Garcia</a> responded: "I have never been in a newsroom where you could do someone else's job and also do yours well. Even when I shoot video and stills on an assignment, with the same camera, both tend to suffer. They require different ways of thinking."</p> <p>Experimenting with iPhone photography is nothing&nbsp;new for journalism outlets. During Hurricane Sandy, <em>Time</em> turned over its Instagram feed to five photographers who delivered an eerie, often radiant record of the storm and its aftermath. (One of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/photoessays/2012/09/ilibya/opener">Benjamin Lowy's</a> iPhone images graced&nbsp;the print magazine's <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2012/11/iphone-photo-of-hurricane-sandy-makes-the-cover-of-time/">cover</a> on November 12, 2012.) <em>Time</em> deemed the experiment a success: Its Lightbox photo blog garnered 13 percent of its overall web traffic during the week of Sandy, and its Instagram racked up&nbsp;12,000 new followers in 48 hours.</p> <p><span class="inline inline-left"><img alt="" class="image image-_original " height="303" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/bending-the-frame.jpg" title="" width="200"></span></p> <p>In his new book <em><a href="http://www.aperture.org/shop/books/bending-the-frame-fred-ritchin-books">Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen</a></em>, photographer Fred Ritchin tackles these developments and more as he explores what the digital revolution means for his trade.</p> <p>His own r&eacute;sum&eacute; includes stints as a photo editor for the <em>New York Times</em> magazine and the executive editor of <em>Camera Arts</em>, as well as a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his work on the 1996 website <a href="http://www.pixelpress.org/bosnia/intro.html"><em>Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace</em></a>. Ritchin also cofounded <em><a href="http://www.pixelpress.org">PixelPress</a></em>, a website devoted to helping humanitarian groups develop innovative media projects. He now codirects the Photography and Human Rights program at New York University.</p> <p><em>Bending the Frame</em> is a vigorous wake-up call to photojournalists to innovate or die. Photographers, Ritchen writes, should continually be asking how they can create more meaningful imagery rather than just chase the "trail of the incendiary." I asked Ritchin to fill me in on the details. Interspersed throughout the interview are examples of photographic projects that he considers particularly innovative or audacious.</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> What do the <em>Chicago Sun-Times&rsquo;</em> recent layoffs mean for photojournalists?</p> <p><strong>Fred Ritchin:</strong> The layoffs ask: What does a professional photojournalist do that others cannot? Depicting photo opportunities as if they are authentic, covering press conferences, or making subjects play their assigned roles (the poor as passive victims, celebrities as glamorous) are hardly adequate responses. In fact, these might be reasons to ask for the help of amateurs who do not know how to stylize their imagery and are not interested in making a publication seem more palatable to its potential consumers.</p> <p>There is enormous need for professionals who know how to tell stories with narrative punch and nuance, who can work proactively and not just reactively, and whose approach is multi-faceted. We need more "useful photographers." Given today's budgets for journalism, my guess is that quite a few photographers will be fired in the near future. But I certainly hope that many visual journalists will be hired or funded along the way as well&mdash;we urgently need their perspectives.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/shapiro-mcveigh-630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong><em>Timothy McVeigh, 06/11/2001</em><br> From the 2001 series "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/photoessays/2004/01/last-suppers/honey-bun" target="_blank">Last Supper</a>,"</strong> <strong>by Celia Shapiro.</strong></div> </div> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> The <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em> plans to train reporters in iPhone photojournalism. Will that change how reporters approach stories?</p> <p><strong>FR:</strong> There are very few instances where writers have also been effective image makers&mdash;different skill sets are required. I do not expect this experiment to be very successful unless these reporters can be trained to evolve into multimedia journalists; word, image, and sound all must have primacy in the development of the narrative.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Have the ethics of photojournalism changed in the age of the smartphone?</p> <p><strong>FR:</strong> Photojournalism has become a hybrid enterprise of amateurs and professionals, along with surveillance cameras, Google Street Views, and other sources. What is underrepresented are those "metaphotographers" who can make sense of the billions of images being made and can provide context and authenticate them. We need curators to filter this overabundance more than we need new legions of photographers.</p> <p>The ethics, to answer your question, have certainly changed: Many who are making cellphone images are advocates with a stake in the outcome of what they are depicting. In some ways this makes their work more honest and easier to read&mdash;they can also manipulate, although the work of professionals can be quite manipulative as well.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Last year, <em>Time</em> got a lot of praise for its Instagram coverage of Sandy. Does this hunger for real-time documentation and sharing affect the quality of photojournalism?</p> <p><strong>FR:</strong> There is room for all kinds of points of view. Certainly everyone should be encouraged to weigh in on their own experiences of a massive storm or other such disruptions, but not everyone is qualified to explain how such storms fit into climate change, or what needs to be done to try and prevent or minimize future disasters on this scale.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/meiselas-nicaragua-630px.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Nicaragua, 2004. A mural installation based on original photographs taken in 1978<em>, </em>by Susan Meiselas / Magnum Photos.</strong></div> </div> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> You argue that we can appreciate the democratization of social media without having to consider every image successful. What defines a successful image on, say, Instagram?</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2013/07/bending-the-frame-fred-ritchin-photojournalism-instagram"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Books Media Top Stories Thu, 18 Jul 2013 10:00:07 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 228741 at http://www.motherjones.com Caught on Film: The Dark World of Truck Stop Sex Workers http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/07/lot-lizard-alexander-perlman-truckers-prostitution <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>"The truth is, making the movie was a really traumatic experience. I suspect I may have developed some mild PTSD." This is how filmmaker Alexander Perlman describes shooting <em>Lot Lizard</em>, his hypnotic new documentary about truck stop prostitution. While his claim might sound hyperbolic&mdash;or like a canny bit of marketing&mdash;it rings true: He logged thousands of miles and hundreds of hours to make the film, braving roach motels, crack highs, and homicidal pimps. Indeed, what Perlman captures in <em>Lot Lizard</em> is visceral and harrowing.</p> <p>The film's three protagonists&mdash;Betty, Monica, and Jennifer&mdash;work on the fringes of the trucking industry. <a href="http://www.aitaonline.com/TS/Locations.html">America's Independent Truckers' Association</a> estimates there are nearly 5,000 truck stops across the country, and although many offer nondescript places to sleep, eat, or shower, many others host a bustling shadow economy of sex and drugs. Lurk on truckers' online message boards long enough and you'll likely come across what amounts to a guide to interstate sex, replete with lurid tall tales (see <a href="http://www.expediterworld.com/forums/showthread.php?1094-My-first-experience-with-some-lot-lizards">here</a>, <a href="http://www.thetruckersreport.com/truckingindustryforum/questions-to-truckers-from-general-public/158465-questions-about-lot-lizards.html">here</a>, and <a href="http://www.truckertotrucker.com/blog/lot-lizards/">here</a>).</p> <div class="sidebar-small-right"><strong><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/03/prostitution-diversion-programs-texas-pdi-new-life" target="_blank">A police intervention program in Texas that works?</a></strong></div> <p>Life on the road, they say, is lonely. To quote one&nbsp;trucker in <em>Lot Lizard</em>: "These walls close in on you. Being in this truck can actually make you crazy." As Perlman discovered, however, the women&mdash;and, occasionally, men&mdash;who cater to this loneliness don't fare much better. Betty and Monica are addicted to crack, Monica is homeless when she's not crashing with friends or sympathetic drivers, and both are entangled in dysfunctional relationships. "I can feel money," Betty says, a kind of human divining rod, and yet she spends most of the film desperately searching for just that.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2013/07/lot-lizard-alexander-perlman-truckers-prostitution"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Crime and Justice Film and TV Human Rights Top Stories Sat, 13 Jul 2013 10:00:04 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 227516 at http://www.motherjones.com Foiled in the United States, Anti-Gay Evangelicals Spread Hate in Africa http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/07/evangelicals-gay-rights-ihop-god-loves-uganda-sundance <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Supreme Court's recent decisions on same-sex marriage were a sound rebuke to religious conservatives who have sought to demonize gay Americans and prevent them from sharing rights that their fellow citizens take for granted. But American evangelical groups, undaunted by their losses in America's culture wars, have been taking their messages&mdash;good and bad&mdash;to the multitudes of Africa.</p> <p></p><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> <span style="color:#8B4513;">More <em>Mother Jones</em> coverage of gay rights and marriage equality</span> </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-227601"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/06/supreme-court-doma-prop-8-rulings"> Supreme Court Rules on DOMA and Prop. 8: A Great Day to Be Gay</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-228061"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/06/same-sex-marriage-supreme-court-scalia-dissent"> The Best (or Worst) Lines From Scalia's Angry Dissent on the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act Ruling</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-219766"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/03/scalia-worst-things-said-written-about-homosexuality-court"> Here Are the 7 Worst Things Antonin Scalia Has Said or Written About Homosexuality</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-219801"> <li><a href="/politics/2013/03/timeline-gay-marriage-support-mainstream"> Which Politicians Supported Gay Marriage and When?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-228076"> <li><a href="/mojo/2013/06/supreme-court-doma-ruling-immigration-reform"> What the Gay-Marriage Ruling Means for Immigration Reform</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-194201"> <li><a href="/mojo/2012/09/5-most-comically-bad-anti-gay-marriage-ads"> VIDEO: The 5 Most Comically Bad Anti-Gay Ads, Ever</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-149241"> <li><a href="/politics/2011/12/gay-life-in-uganda"> Mac McClelland on Gay Rights in Uganda</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-16423"> <li><a href="/politics/2007/08/gay-choice-science-sexual-identity"> Gay by Choice? The Science of Sexual Identity</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-6202"> <li><a href="/mojo/2007/08/gay-choice-yeah-what-if"> Gay by Choice? Yeah, What If?</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> Uganda in particular has been a hotbed of American evangelical activity. The landlocked nation has seen more than its share of sorrow, from genocide to the horrors of AIDS to the guerilla terror of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. It has repeatedly ranked among the world's worst for human rights and freedom of the press. Last year, <em>Foreign Policy</em> and Fund for Peace classified Uganda as a <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/failed_states_index_2012_interactive">"failed state."</a> <p>In recent years, the country has drawn ire for its Anti-Homosexuality Bill, known more ominously&nbsp;as the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/12/gay-life-in-uganda">"kill the gays" bill</a> because, if approved, it would mean the execution of recidivist homosexuals. There are plenty of live-wire personalities, not the least of whom is the Reverend Martin Ssempa, who's found that there's nothing like gay fetish porn for stoking a congregation's bloodlust.</p> <p>In 2008, the Ugandan tabloid <em>Rolling Stone</em> published the names and faces of 100 gay rights supporters under the headline "Hang Them." Among them was <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/world/africa/28uganda.html?_r=0">David Kato</a>, an activist who has been called "the father of gay rights" in Uganda. Kato successfully sued the tabloid for endangering his safety (and won about $640) but was bludgeoned to death under mysterious circumstances not long after. His supporters believe anti-gay factions were behind the murder.</p> <p>But perhaps the biggest actors in Uganda's gay rights drama are the American evangelicals who travel there every year by the thousands to spread their Gospel from the far pastures of charismatic Christianity. One of the most powerful groups is <a href="http://www.ihopkc.org/">International House of Prayer (IHOP)</a>, a Kansas City-based mega-church with hundreds of outposts, more than 1,000 staffers, and a declared mission to secure a "million new souls and a billion dollars" for Christ by 2020.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/media/2013/07/evangelicals-gay-rights-ihop-god-loves-uganda-sundance"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Media Interview Film and TV Gay Rights Human Rights International Religion Top Stories Tue, 09 Jul 2013 10:00:05 +0000 Jeremy Lybarger 227401 at http://www.motherjones.com El Salvador's Children of War http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/04/el-salvadors-children-war-de-cesare <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>From 1979 until 1992, El Salvador was mired in a civil war that left 75,000 people dead and untold numbers displaced or unaccounted for. It was a conflict marked by extravagant violence: On December 11, 1981, in the mountain village of El Mozote, the Salvadoran army raped, tortured, and massacred nearly 1,000 civilians, including many children. News of the killings didn't reach the United States until January 27, 1982, the same day the&nbsp;Reagan administration announced El Salvador was making a "significant effort to comply with internationally recognized human rights." Washington continued to pump&nbsp;aid into the regime&mdash;$4 billion over 12 years.</p> <p>Part of what made the war so complicated, at least for US interests, was the ultimatum it seemed to present: Defeat the guerillas at any cost or lose the country to communism. In the twilight of the Cold War, any threat of a domino effect in the region&mdash;Nicaragua had already fallen to the Sandinistas&mdash;was too ominous for Washington to bear. By backing El Salvador's right-wing junta and, by extension, its paramilitary death squads,&nbsp;the United States created a conundrum for&nbsp;journalists: how to document a war whose maneuvers and motivations were kept deliberately murky?</p> <p>Photographer Donna De Cesare traveled to El Salvador in 1987 to "witness and report on war, with all the earnest idealism and na&iuml;vete of youth," as she puts it in her new photo book <em><a href="http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/decuns">Unsettled/Desasosiego</a></em>. What she couldn't have known at the time was how the experience would shape the next 20 years of her life. She visited refugee camps in Honduras, Jesuit killings on the campus of Central American University, a morgue in Guatemala City. Her work&mdash;like that of <a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/Catalogue/Larry-Towell/1989/EL-SALVADOR-1989-NN12666.html">Larry Towell</a> and <a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&amp;VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&amp;ERID=24KL535EQH">Susan Meiselas</a>&mdash;is essential to&nbsp;understanding a chapter in Central America's history that is too often whitewashed or <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/el-salvador-urged-respond-el-calabozo-massacre-survivors-demands-2012-11-01">denied.</a></p> <p>After peace accords were signed in 1992, she shifted her focus to the refugee diaspora in Los Angeles, roaming the tense battleground&nbsp;of the 18th street and Mara Salvatrucha (or MS-13) gangs. There she found an extension and continuation of El Salvador's turmoil&mdash;vigilante justice and honor killings were the rule of law. Gang members&nbsp;broadcast their allegiances via facial tattoos and hand signs, at least until the Sombra Negra (black shadow) death squads began targeting "homeboys" who were deported back to El Salvador. From 1998 to 2005, at least 46,000 such deportees found themselves marooned in Central America's volatile barrios. As De Cesare notes, there are more than 4.5 million small firearms in Central America, the majority of them illegally owned. And 80 percent of homicides in Guatemala and El Salvador are carried out with such weapons. "What determines whether suffering is turned toward cruelty, or toward resistance and resilience?" she writes. As her photographs testify, such subtle distinctions erode during wartime.</p> <p>Donna De Cesare won the <em>Mother Jones</em> International Photo Fund Award for Social Documentary in 1999. That same year, her photos accompanied a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/deporting-americas-gang-culture-el-salvador" target="_blank">story about how tougher US immigration policy</a> was forcing many refugees back to dangerous homelands.&nbsp;The images and caption information for this photoessay are from <em><a href="http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/decuns">Unsettled/Desasosiego,</a></em> recently published by University of Texas Press. For more information about De Cesare's&nbsp;work&nbsp;in El Salvador, go to her website, <em><a href="http://destinyschildren.org/">Destiny's Children.</a></em></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/01_1.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Sonsonate, El Salvador, 1989. The mother and sister of a murdered student wait as an Americas Watch team examines entry and exit wounds from the boy's exhumed corpse before identifying the body. He had been abducted by death squads weeks earlier. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/036-plates1_0006_decesare-civil_war_to_gang002_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>San Salvador, El Salvador, 1989. In the 1980s, El Salvador had one of our hemisphere's worst human rights records. This victim was allegedly murdered by government death squads for violating a curfew. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/034_plates1_0002_els-fmlnzone.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>San Jos&eacute; Las Flores, Chalatenango, El Salvador, 1988. Children mingle with insurgents in rebel-held territory. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/038_plates1_0012_els-kidscreams_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Soyapango, El Salvador, 1989. As refugees flee a rebel-held barrio after three days of strafing and bombing by the government's air force, a child reacts to the sight of an approaching helicopter. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/033-plates1_0013_els-fleebombing.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Soyapango, El Salvador, 1989. Civilians in a zone held by insurgents flee their working-class barrio after three days of attacks by government forces. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/042_plates1_els-refugeebus.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>El Salvador/Honduras border, El Poy, El Salvador, 1988. Salvadoran families make their way to the the village of Guarjila in a caravan of buses after leaving the Mesa Grande refugee camp in Honduras. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/041-plates1-els-repopulation.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Santa Marta, Caba&ntilde;as, El Salvador, 1989. After spending years in the Mesa Grande refugee camp in Honduras, Salvadorans return to rebuild their village. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/078-plates2_0043_la-esperanza_copy_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Watts, Los Angeles, 1994. Three-year-old "Esperanza" named her pet pigeon after her wheelchair-bound teenaged uncle. He was shot by a rival gang member in a drive-by shooting. "The gun on the bed&mdash;a loaded pellet gun&mdash;was real and dangerous to a three-year-old," De Cesare writes. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/105_plates3_0219_gua-18thhomeboy-14spot.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2002. A gang member who wishes to leave gang life tries to comfort his children, but he worries about the future because his tattoos make it difficult to find legitimate work. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/096_plates3_0157_els-drugs_copy.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>San Salvador, El Salvador, 1997. Gang members prepare to mix marijuana with cocaine, a once-exclusive concoction now sold in the poorest barrios. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/106_plates3_0224_gua-18gun-05_copy.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Sacatep&eacute;quez, Guatemala, 2001. Teenagers discuss punishment for a homeboy at a gang meeting. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/108_plates3_a-b_replacefile_gua-18body-_edit_final.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Guatemala City, Guatemala, 2001. A crowd gathers at the crime scene following the murder of a gang member from 18th Street gang in the barrio of Villa Nueva. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/008-intextandplates-figure-1-1_0.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Mesa Grande refugee camp, Honduras, 1988. Refugees wait to be repatriated by the UN to their villages in El Salvador. </strong></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Photo Essays Bush Human Rights International notweet photography Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:00:05 +0000 Photographs by Donna De Cesare; Text by Jeremy Lybarger 293021 at http://www.motherjones.com Doing Time on a Southern Prison Farm http://www.motherjones.com/media/2013/04/southern-prison-farm-bruce-jackson <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the summer of 1964, Bruce Jackson&mdash;then a junior fellow at Harvard&mdash;arrived in Texas to record work songs on several state prison farms. He was researching the music and folk culture of incarcerated men, a project that had earlier steered him to Indiana State Prison and Missouri Penitentiary. Landing in Texas was essentially dumb luck; Jackson had family there, and knew that the Lone Star State claimed many of the country's harshest prison farms.</p> <p>Besides audio equipment, he also brought a 35mm Nikon with which he intended to create a visual diary of the inmates he met. Fifteen years and thousands of photos later, the diary had become more like an encyclopedia&mdash;portions of which you can now read.</p> <p>In his new book, <em>Inside the Wire: Photographs From Texas and Arkansas Prisons,</em> Jackson documents a society and economy whose roots were entwined with the antebellum South. Many prison farms were converted slave plantations that still bore the family name of long-buried landowners: Ellis, Ramsey, Cummins,&nbsp;Wynne. Sprawling across thousands of acres, these were agricultural purgatories where prisoners harvested much of their own food, spun cotton into clothes, and staged annual rodeos for the amusement of each other and the locals, all while living under the long shadow of death row. (The state prison system's psychiatric unit, Jester IV, is located on the site of a former prison farm called Harlem Plantation, but that's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/andre-thomas-death-penalty-mental-illness-texas" target="_blank">another story</a>.)</p> <p>Like Danny Lyon, whose seminal <em><a href="http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&amp;ALID=2K7O3RHM3U1V">Conversations with the Dead</a></em> was shot in many of the same prisons where Jackson worked&mdash;the director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice sought Jackson's approval before granting Lyon access&mdash;there's no doubt where the photographer's sympathy lies. Although many of the men pictured were convicted of brutal crimes, Jackson imbues them with dignity, or at least a degree of stoicism. And just to dispel uncertainty about his own politics, Jackson writes: The prisons "continue to be grim places where American society hides its failures...the two primary functions shared by American prisons now are providing jobs to people in rural counties who would not otherwise have jobs, and keeping off city streets people the cities don't know what else to do with, about, or for, or just don't want to look at.&rdquo;</p> <p>Prison farms have grown increasingly marginal. In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimated that only 298 facilities still employed inmates in agricultural labor, a 12 percent drop from 1990. The nation's remaining farms, such as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/07/burl-cain-angola-prison">Louisiana State Penitentiary</a> in Angola, feel anachronistic, or like relics of a system that reduced convicts to sheer manpower. Although prison bureaucracy has modernized, the core reality of life behind bars remains grimly constant. As Jackson notes: "I doubt the world has changed much in the interim, other than that it is even more crowded and more mean."</p> <p>These images are excerpted from <em><a href="http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/jacins">Inside the Wire: Photographs From Texas and Arkansas Prisons</a></em>, published by University of Texas Press.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/01-902-32_gladys_in_shower._cummins_1975_nob.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1975. The man in the background is the only prisoner Jackson ever saw shower with clothes on. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/02-20040418-1022-9_in_max_cummins_1975.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1975. A prisoner with his wall-hangings. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/03-20110921-20080131-595-15_convict_guards_cummins_1971.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1971. Guards waiting to depart for fields where prisoners labored. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/04-20040312-750.4_spade_sqauads_cummins.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1973. Spade squads. Since the fields were often muddy, holes were drilled in the spades to let water drain. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/05-20040227-707.4_cummins_convict_with_sunglasses_1972_.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1972. A prisoner (referred to as the "water boy") mans a field drinking station. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/06-20040424-1028-19_w_cottonfield_cummins_1975.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1975. A field lieutenant amid cotton-picking prisoners. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/07-20080626-1978_1233_august_ellis_24_ed.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Ellis Unit, Texas, 1978. At the end of each workday, prisoners shed their clothes and presented hats and shoes for inspection before heading to the showers. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/08-20040420-1018-27__cummins_1975.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1975. Prison yard. "People like that could be staring straight at you," Jackson writes, "but they were looking someplace you never were and hopefully never would be." </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/09-20040228-709.14_cummins_rodeo_going_off_horse_1972.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1972. Prison rodeo. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/10-713.23a__trampled_guy_on_stretcher_cummins_prison_rodeo_1972.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1972. Prison rodeo: After being thrown from a bronc, a prisoner heads to the infirmary. </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/11-1978_1242_coffield_and_central__09_ed.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Coffield Unit, Texas, 1978. Hanging out on the block. "There isn't much to do in a prison," Jackson writes. "Some men got deep into reading, or leatherwork, or drawing; some sleep a lot; most just hang out and wait." </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/12-834-11_man_in_bunk_with_sunlight_cummins_1974.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Cummins Unit, Arkansas, 1974. "The light is shaped by the bars," Jackson writes. "The shadows of the bars paint themselves on the beds and on the bodies of people in them." </strong></div> <div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/13-20080617-brandon_ed.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Huntsville Unit, Texas, 1979. The five horizontal surfaces in a death row cell: bunk, sink, bookcase, toilet, floor. </strong></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Media Photo Essays Books Prisons notweet photography Fri, 19 Apr 2013 10:00:09 +0000 Photographs by Bruce Jackson; Text by Jeremy Lybarger. 292966 at http://www.motherjones.com