Thursday, June 14, 2018

You came here to suffer (David Bacon)

The last labor journalist standing: David Bacon!

David Bacon Fotografias y Historias
The H-2A Farm Worker Program creates a pipeline of cheap, disposable labor.
By David Bacon
The Progressive, June 1, 2018

ROYAL CITY, WA - H2A guest workers string up wire supports for planting apple trees, in an field owned by Stemilt Growers.  Carlos Gutierrez and Eduardo Lopez are immigrant contract workers recruited in Mexico.  They will work a few months, and then will have to return to Mexico.

On August 6 of last year, Honesto Silva Ibarra died in a Seattle hospital. Silva was a guest worker-a Mexican farm worker brought to the United States under contract to pick blueberries. He worked first in Delano, California, and then in Sumas, Washington, next to the Canadian border. His death, and the political and legal firestorm it ignited, has unveiled a contract labor scheme reminiscent of the United States' infamously exploitative mid-century Bracero Program.

In a suit filed January in the U.S. District Court in Washington State, the state's rural legal aid group, Columbia Legal Services charges that Silva's employer, Sarbanand Farms, "violated federal anti-trafficking laws through a pattern of threats and intimidation that caused its H-2A workforce to believe they would suffer serious harm unless they fully submitted to Sarbanand's labor demands."

Those demands, as described in the complaint, were extreme, and Silva's coworkers believe he died as a result.

Sarbanand Farms belongs to Munger Brothers, a family corporation in Delano, California. Since 2006, the company has annually brought more than 600 workers from Mexico under the H-2A visa program to harvest 3,000 acres of blueberries in California and Washington. Munger, the largest blueberry grower in North America, is the driving force behind the growers' cooperative that markets under the Naturipe label.

Use the links to see the photo essay in full.

David Bacon is a writer and photojournalist, whose latest book is In the Fields of the North / En los campos del norte (Colegio de la Frontera Norte - University of California Press).

Los Angeles Times reviews In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte - clickhere

"Documenting the Farm Worker Rebellion"
"The Radical Resistance to Immigration Enforcement"
Havens Center lectures, University of Wisconsin, click here

San Francisco Commonweallth Club presentation by David Bacon and Jose Padilla, clickhere


Exhibition / Exhibicion
In the Fields of the North /
En los Campos del Norte

Photographs and text panels by David Bacon
documenting the lives of farm workers
Fotografias y paneles de texto por David Bacon
documentando las vidas de los que trabajan en el campo

Arbuckle Gallery / Pacific Hotel
History Park of San Jose, 1650 Senter Rd., San Jose, CA
10/26/2017 - 6/3/2018,
11A-4.30P, Tues/Martes - Sun/Domingo

Video of the presentation at the opening of the exhibition, click here


In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte
Photographs and text by David Bacon
University of California Press / Colegio de la Frontera Norte

302 photographs, 450pp, 9”x9”
paperback, $34.95
order the book on the UC Press website:
use source code  16M4197  at checkoutreceive a 30% discount

En Mexico se puede pedir el libro en el sitio de COLEF:

En los campos del Norte documenta la vida de trabajadores agrícolas en Estados Unidos -
Entrevista con el Instituto Nacional de la Antropologia y Historia

Entrevista en la television de UNAM

David Bacon comparte su mirada del trabajo agrícola de migrantes mexicanos en el Museo Archivo de la Fotografia

Trabajo agrícola, migración y resistencia cultural: el mosaico de los “Campos del Norte”
Entrevista de David Bacon por Iván Gutiérrez / A los 4 Vientos

"Los fotógrafos tomamos partido"
Entrevista por Melina Balcázar Moreno - Laberinto


EN LOS CAMPOS DEL NORTE:  Farm worker photographs on the U.S./Mexico border wall
Entrevista sobre la exhibicion con Alfonso Caraveo (Español) REALITY CHECK - David Bacon blog

Cat Brooks interview on KPFA about In the Fields of the North  - Advance the time to 33:15

Book TV: A presentation of the ideas in The Right to Stay Home at the CUNY Graduate Center

Die Kunst der Grenze für "eine andere Welt"

Die Apfel-Pflücker aus dem Yakima-Tal

Other Books by David Bacon

The Right to Stay Home:  How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration  (Beacon Press, 2013)
Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants  (Beacon Press, 2008)
Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008

Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)

The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

En Español:

EL DERECHO A QUEDARSE EN CASA  (Critica - Planeta de Libros)


For more articles and images, see and