Paul Fusco wants to show you what the Bush administration tries hard to keep out of sight -- the human toll the war in Iraq takes on American soldiers and their families. The 74-year-old veteran photographer, whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Time, and The New York Times Magazine, worked tirelessly for most of 2004 shooting funerals of GIs killed in the Middle East. The effort was not only a war protest but also a response to the administration's strict control on information, including prohibiting photographs of soldiers' coffins arriving back home. "I was just infuriated about the whole thing," he said. "It's news of national importance." He said military officers kept him out of all funerals but a few, often using verbal intimidation, physical force, or both. "I'm sure they were being told right out of the White House, 'Don't let them cover this,'" said Fusco, a member of the Magnum Photos cooperative and a former staff photographer for Look magazine. "It's been incredibly controlled."
Officers often told him they were protecting the privacy of the families, but Fusco said when he did make it into the services, the families never protested his being there and, in fact, often welcomed him. Some told him they felt humiliated and insulted by how the government had treated them.
Fusco got some remarkable images, but he said none of his regular mainstream contacts would run them. Mother Jones so far has been the lone dissenter, publishing the photo essay "Coming Home" in its January/February issue.
Fusco will lecture 6:30 p.m. Friday at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (North Gate Hall, room 105). The event is cosponsored by the j-school and Fotovision, a Berkeley nonprofit group offering workshops and classes for photographers. Fusco will sign copies of his newest book, RFK Funeral Train, and he and fellow Magnum member Wayne Miller will sign copies of Magnum Stories, a book containing 61 photo essays from members of the cooperative. There will be twenty copies of Magnum Stories on hand that were each signed by several members of the cooperative.
Fusco will also lead a Fotovision workshop Saturday and Sunday. For more info, visit Fotovision.org or call 415-725-1636. Keith Bowers
Roll Roll ...
Roll in Ze Hay
To quote Teri Garr in Young Frankenstein, "Vould you like a roll in ze hay?" There may not be any real hay at the Stork Club's new Tuesday Night Hayrides, but you can be damn sure that, every Tuesday night starting at 9:30 p.m., KUSF's Los Gatos Superhighway radio program will help you discover any and all stripes of down-home, rootsy, and countryish goodness. Tonight's bill features the old-timey ragtime of the Gomorrhan Social Aide and Pleasure Club (whoa, hey, watch where that hand's restin', bub), outlaw folk quartet Howdy!, and high-lonesome troubadour Bob Harp. Upcoming weeks feature such better-known names as the Pine Box Boys and the Red Thread. $5. 2330 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 510-444-6174. -- Stefanie Kalem
Insert Last-Stand Joke Here
Mills College's CCM (Center for Contemporary Music) Songlines Series continues its mission to bring the most compelling experimental and avant-garde music, and their allied arts, to the eucalyptus-lined East Oakland campus. This time around, it's local: Beth Custer, member of the Club Foot Orchestra, Trance Mission, and Eighty Mile Beach, and longtime composer for the Joe Goode Performance Group will strut her solo stuff with a set of original songs and improvisations for clarinets (B-flat, alto, and bass), piano, voice, and "trinkets." The free concert happens at 7:30 p.m. in the Ensemble Room. Call 510-430-2296 for more info. -- Stefanie Kalem
New York art critic Rachel Greene loves the give and take of Internet art, as any visitor to her Rhizome.org Web site can see. She obviously admires the decentralized, anti-authoritarian, democratic nature of art on the Net, as well as its effect on the formal visual art world of museums and galleries. Greene is one of the first writers to connect the dots between Net art and the post-conceptual avant-garde, which is why her talk, The History of Net Art from 1995 to the Google IPO, should be stimulating. It happens Monday at 7:30 p.m. at 160 Krober Hall on the UCB campus, sponsored by the Center for New Media. 510-643-9565. -- Kelly Vance
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