October 26, 2011

Photo-journalist David Bacon to speak on free trade

On Thursday, Nov. 3, photo-journalist and author David Bacon will visit Seattle to discuss the topic Free Trade, Migration and the Culture of Solidarity. The talk will address Bacon’s extensive work with the pen and camera, giving voice to organized laborers and migrant workers.

David Bacon

David Bacon

One of the few remaining American reporters whose work openly advocates for social reform, Bacon is carrying on a long American tradition of advocacy journalism that began with the muckrakers of the early 20th Century and reached its zenith with the roving photo documentarians of the Depression era. The author of three books on globalization and its effect on migrant workers, he is a regular contributor to The Nation, The American Prospect, Truthout.org, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bacon is also a former labor organizer. Since the 1960s, he has taken part in efforts with many organizations, from the Molders Union and International Ladies Garment Workers, to the United Electrical Workers and the United Farm Workers.

The UFW in particular has influenced Bacon’s work. Working for the union in California, his immersion in the lives of migrant workers made him realize that culture should be an important element of his journalism.

“The U.S. creates very good labor organizations, but we are not very good at speaking to people in a broader way,” Bacon says.

Bacon will appear from 6-7:30 p.m. in 260 Savery. The free event is sponsored by the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies; UW American Ethnic Studies; UW Latin American and Caribbean Studies; Washington Institute for the Study of Sexuality, Ethnicity and Race; Diversity Research Institute; and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, UW Bothell. For more information, e-mail pcls@u.washington.edu or call 206-543-7946.