David Bacon: Documentary Photographer and Journalist

Utne Reader visionary

| November-December, 2009

People are fighting back against unfair firings and pay cuts, against foreclosures and evictions, against unjust immigration laws. Unfortunately, these important, inspiring struggles rarely make the news.

David Bacon, a photographer and journalist, has made a life of telling underreported stories and getting to know the people behind them: immigrant janitors from Mexico and Central America striking for better wages in Northern California; security guards organizing for better working conditions in San Francisco; neighbors in Oakland protesting another foreclosure, another empty home.

Bacon has always been interested in the historical and economic forces behind migration and poverty. His books, including Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants , are sharp, analytical, and urgent. Communities Without Borders: Images and Voices from the World of Migration , a stunning volume featuring photographs and narratives from migrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, is mind-blowing in its scope and depth of feeling. His photographs and writing also appear in indie-media staples such as The Nation , The American Prospect , and Truthout .


We interviewed Bacon in 2007 as part of a series of articles on immigration. The best way to get to know his work is probably to play around on his website, which houses vast stores of his photographs and articles.

Read More:  50 Visionaries Who Are Changing the World .

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