Resistors on display: Fifty years of protest photos to open at North Gate

The Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley next week opens its doors to an exhibit of work by some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s leading photographers that document Bay Area protests, starting with the Free Speech Movement and resistance to the draft in the 1960s and continuing to the multi-city Women’s March last January.

“Resistors: 50 Years of Social Movement Photography in the Bay Area” opens on Tuesday, Sept. 5, in the Reva and David Logan Gallery of Documentary Photography in North Gate Hall. It will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 22.

deputies take a break after clearing People's Park of protesters.

Alameda County sheriff’s deputies rest after clearing protesters from People’s Park and its environs on May 15, 1969. The day became known as Bloody Thursday, and before it ended dozens of protesters had been injured and one was dead. (Photo by Stephen Shames/Polaris, courtesy of the Steven Kasher Gallery.)

The exhibition photographers, whose images have been published in magazines, newspapers, posters, books and online over the decades, include Stephen Shames, Nacio Jan Brown, Robert Altman, Janet Delaney (a former adjunct professor at the College of Environmental Design), Noah Berger,  Geoffrey King (a UC Berkeley media studies lecturer), Sarah Rice, Kelly Owen and Santiago Mejia.

Four photographers — Mimi Plumb, Jeffrey Blankfort, Wesaam Al-Badry and Santiago Mejia — will sit down for a conversation with exhibit co-curator Ken Light about their work from 7-8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, in Room 105 of North Gate Hall. Their talk will follow a 6-7 p.m. reception in the North Gate Courtyard. Seats are available for the conversation on a first-come, first-served basis.

Plumb is a former photography teacher and fine art photographer who documented the fierce struggle by farmworkers to unionize through the United Farm Workers 40 years ago. Blankfort is a legendary photographer of social protests from the 1960s through the ’80s, including the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panthers, the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, anti-Vietnam War demonstrations and the Chicano rights movement in California. Al-Badry  learned photography in a refugee camp for Iraqis and now documents contemporary social issues in the United States through photography. Meija is a staff photographer with the San Francisco Chronicle.

Exhibition curators include Ken Light, the Reva and David Logan Professor of Documentary Photography at Berkeley, and Melanie Light, a writer and cofounding executive director of Fotovision, a nonprofit supporting the international community of documentary photographers.