The Times Stands Still 

A New York Times Pulitzer Prize photo show at UC Berkeley's J-School brings the wild world into focus

Even in black and white, the photo is breathtakingly beautiful. Against a background of domed buildings and bearded, turbaned onlookers in a square in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, a man scatters birdseed to a large flock of white doves gathered around him, a few of which are flying up into the focal point. When we finally see the shot in color and look at the incredible color of the partly cloudy morning sky, it becomes even more beautiful. How did photographer James Hill manage to compose that shot? The doves are inhabitants of a shrine to Azrat Ali, son of the prophet Muhammad. Collectively known as Azrat's Army, they're symbols of peace -- the first to leave when fighting starts, and the last to return when it stops.

War, peace, and faraway places were much on the minds of the editors and photographers of The New York Times in 2001, and thus many of the 39 11" x 17" prints in "Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs by the Staff of The New York Times," on display beginning Sunday, November 17 through January 27 at Cal's Graduate School of Journalism, dwell on strife and stress. Like Angel Franco's 9/11 pic of two stunned women watching the World Trade Center collapse. Hill's and Franco's prizewinning photos were both made digitally, as they are at practically all big-city dailies, says Ken Light, director of the J-School's Center for Photography. "The Times used to be called the 'Old Gray Lady'," says Light, "but when they took on color about seven years ago, it opened up a new world. Their coverage of both 9/11 and Afghanistan was brilliant. They have the resources to tell stories in depth."

Sunday at 3:30 p.m., Times photogs Vincent Laforet and Ruth Fremson lecture on "Photographing the World" in Room 105 of Northgate Hall, where at 7 p.m., Times art critic Michael Kimmelman discusses the state of photographic art. Then at 7:30 p.m. Monday at Zellerbach Hall, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and managing editor Howell Raines discuss "Setting the Agenda?: The New York Times and America's View of the World."


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