After reading Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, Bruce Springsteen sat down, wrote, and recorded “Nebraska,” perhaps his best social and political work. Zinn once said he decided to write A People’s History after listening to Woody Guthrie’s lyrics about Colorado’s Ludlow Massacre. Guthrie goosed Bob Dylan towards political consciousness who in turn moved Springsteen to consider writing stories “from below” — stories against the grain of the “great men” theory of history.

Read more

iggy

iggy

Chakhala Village, Mchinji District, Malawi


So much of the news from Africa is depressing: famine, aids, wars, orphans, despots, you name it. It’s not just the mainstream media; I’ve been hit recently by a kind of “year-end giving blitz” when relief agencies scramble for your 2009 tax planning largesse. Lots of hungry kids with flies in their eyes. I’m told by my non-profit friends that this is because people only give to tragedy not joy.

I understand this. I don’t blame them, and I don’t think they overstate or outright lie just to raise money, at least as far as I can tell.

What’s lost in that reportage, and in mainstream imagery, is how crazy wonderful the people and place is. Since mid-July, I’ve spent a month in Africa, enmeshed in a couple of pretty serious issues but there’s a great deal of joy.

I don’t want to downplay the problems or fetishize smiling kids. But I get a little tired of how we often fetishize starving kids with flies in their eyes.

This video is just some videographic ballast. Continue reading Turning Around | Mr. Ignacious Mwambola

Read more

The swan song for traditional media is as incessant as it is unquestioned. Don’t tell that to San Francisco’s Dave Eggers or Liberia’s Alfred Sirleaf. In radically different ways, under radically different conditions, they both open a space for the newspaper’s relevance in a landscape of navel-gazing corporate media non-stop blather-a-thon (oh, and blogs, let’s not forget blogorrhea).

Read more

This summer, Glacier Park Magazine editor Chris Peterson undertook a photographic project to take photos of Montana’s Glacier National Park over 100 consecutive days, starting on May 1, 2009, for a traveling photo show in 2010 to commemorate Glacier’s Centennial. He used a mix of film and digital cameras, including an 8 by 10 field camera, a Kodak Pocket Vest camera, circa 1909, and a Speed Graphic, among others. His idea was to use the cameras that would have been used over the course of the Park’s 100 years.

Read more