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LibreOrganize 0.6.0 - Documentation

More than a Wall/Más que un muro by David Bacon

Activist Vicky Hamlin, a retired tradeswoman, shop steward, and painter, shines the light — in her art and in this column — on the lives of working people and the world they live in.

Not just a wall. Not just a line. The border between Mexico and the United States makes for its own unique region with a history, peoples, and a culture built on love, survival, and shared stories. Photojournalist David Bacon brings the dimly lit realities of this region into sharp focus in his book, More Than a Wall/Más que un muro. Bacon offers here more on his lifes work and how he hopes his fascinating new book will contribute to it.

I’m what you would call a social movement/participant photographer/journalist, meaning that the work that I do is as a participant in the social movements that are being documented.

For example, Maclovio Rojas was one of the communities of resistance set up by people who live on the border.  Many worked in the Han Yung maquiladora, so what began as community organizing flowed into worker organizing.  I knew some of those involved and began documenting the strike.  Since I had been a union organizer for a long time, the whole question of a strike was something I was very familiar with already.  So my purpose was not just to show the reality of what was happening. Part of it was very concrete - to get support for the union.

Santiago Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, 2008.  Zacarias Salazar with a wooden plow.

It’s interesting the way the political histories of the two countries track each other.  The Macarthyite purge of alleged Communists in the US and the repression of the left in Mexico during the same period is very similar.  Each country has its own dynamic but we have a lot of points where we touch each other. There’s a lot that people in the US can learn from Mexican artists and photographers.

Calexico, California, 2010.  Workers bundle up against the cold.

From the beginning of the 90s I could see that the border was something that needed explanation, it needed articles, it needed photographs for us to understand what was going on.  Anyway, the book gets produced because I keep going back and going back and going back.

Tijuana, Baja California, 2000. A Family supporting the campaign of Cuautémoc Cardenas.