Category: Culture

Michael Neufeld, curator of the Enola Gay exhibition.
(Photo by Julia M. Klein)

Tremors from the Enola Gay Controversy: An Argument for the Postmodern Museum

WASHINGTON — Sitting in his book-lined office at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, Michael Neufeld talks bitterly about his role as the much-maligned curator of the most infamous museum exhibition never mounted. Michael Neufeld, curator of the Enola Gay exhibition.
(Photo by Julia

Beauty and her customer Naren in the brothel. Beauty is from Bangladesh and without papers she sleeps her way across the border in order to go home to visit her five-year old son. She is very popular with the customers. She says of them, "By acting like I'm in love, I get them under my control, so that they keep coming back. This is my way of earning money. I never truly love anyone." 2001 © Zana BRISKI

Beauty and the Brothel: Prostitutes and AIDS in India

Beauty and her customer Naren in the brothel. Beauty is from Bangladesh and without papers she sleeps her way across the border in order to go home to visit her five-year old son. She is very popular with the customers. She says of them, “By

Hispanic Workers Health Needs are Overwhelming Southern Poultry Towns

Everyone’s time is set to four thirty in the afternoon in Siler City, North Carolina. It’s the hour when everyone comes home. Children come home from school and toss their backpacks on the floor. Parents come home from the chicken plants and leave their black

Architects’ concept sketch of the Freedom Center entrance at night.

A Museum In Black and White

In the mythology of the Underground Railroad, the Ohio River has a sacramental status. Crossing it transformed slaves into free men and women. The alchemy was imperfect, to be sure: Under federal law, slaves in the North remained property and could be recaptured. Still, reaching

Fighting Battles for Grizzlies

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK–For 20 seasons, the simple life was its own reward for Bob Jackson, the only resident law enforcement officer in the most remote wilderness outpost of the lower 48 states–this park’s Thorofare district. Ranger Bob Jackson, who patrols on horseback, says he identifies

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When the Crunch Becomes the Norm: Cries from Inside the 24-Hour Work Clock

According to no end of authorities extrapolating forward from the trends of the early 20th century, Americans should be wallowing in free time by now. A four-hour workday, the technocrat Harold Loeb wrote in 1933, would “satisfy fully the material needs of each member of

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Polish Entrepreneurs after the 1989 Roundtable

Research chemist Malgorzata Dudek had worked for two decades at the technical university in Gliwice and in 1983 decided she wanted to apply that knowledge in a startup business. That proved too daunting. Her own knowledge was not the problem. She knew the state-owned chemical

Hispanic Poultry Workers Live in New Southern Slums

Everyone in Siler City, NC, knows about North Chatham Avenue. They know the street the way one knows a dark secret. Both whites and blacks shake their heads at its mention. Even though the town feels shame about the dilapidated homes that line North Chatham,

Report From Siberia: Making A Living

Across a frozen lake 10 kilometers east of the small Siberian village of Kazym, Sasha and his son, Ephiam, drag a sled loaded with a tangle of fishing net and rope. Two of Sasha’s friends soon follow with long poles freshly cut from the nearby

Customers entering the brothel

Tumpa: A Sex Worker of Calcutta

I look like a witch. Tumpa has painted my eyes thick with kohl, my lips bright pink, my toenails vibrant blue. During this daily ritual my mother calls long distance from England on my mobile phone. “How is everything darling?” “Fine, everything’s fine,” I answer.

Women Entrepreneurs in Poland

An unexpectedly large number of new businesses in Poland today are owned by women. Many are doing quite well, in manufacturing as well as in the service sector, helping propel Poland on its fast-track path toward a competitive market economy. Today, women are estimated to

Tony Chavarria, a Santa Clara Pueblo, is curator of ceramics at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Photo by Julia Klein.

Native Americans in Museums: Lost in Translation?

SUITLAND, Md. — The George family traveled to the nation’s capital from their northern California reservation this July with a clear agenda: To inform America about the Hupas’ continuing battle to preserve their land and culture against environmental threats. “America has been educated from a

Continental Divide Trail

Caught in a thicket of ancient enmities, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail stops here in northern New Mexicos Piedra Lumbre basin – a river valley of silvery cottonwood, yellow tipped sage and deceptive serenity. Once completed, the trail will be the longest transcontinental trek

Live–at a Mississippi Juke Joint Po’ Monkey’s place, located amid cotton fields two miles down a dirt road outside Merigold, MS, is perhaps one of the last old-style country jukes in the Delta. It’s been operated by tractor driver Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seeberry for more than 30 years in a turn-of-the-century sharecropper’s shack where Seeberry lives. The juke packs in customers every Thursday night to dance, drink beer, and eat fish, ribs and pork chop sandwiches prepared by his ex-sister-in-law, Irene Johnson. Just as in the boom days of the Delta, the shack is owned by Seeberry’s white employer who allows him to run the club out of his home for extra money and to provide a social outlet for locals. Po’ Monkeys Lounge draws in whites and blacks throughout the Delta who enjoy partying in the country, listening to good blues and eating good food.

Good Times Fall On Hard Times In Mississippi

“I believe I’ll get drunk, tear this barrel house down.” —Drunken Barrel House Blues, Memphis Minnie. The juke joints are dying. “We used to have big crowds, every Friday night especially, and check nights,” said James Alford, manager of Smitty’s Red Top Lounge in Clarksdale,

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Bram Fischer’s Journey

As Nelson Mandela and his comrades were convicted of sabotage and sentenced to life imprisonment in June 1964, the underground freedom movement in South Africa was unraveling. Many black activists were imprisoned, while many of their white comrades fled the country. One of the few

Victor Logan, "Stinga" displays an award recognizing his efforts to uphold the 1995 gang truce and to better himself through the Conscious Youth Development Program. It reads: CYDP 2nd Aniversary of the Bird’s Isle Declaration recognizes Victor Logan for resolving to change in spite of the odds. February 16, 1997. Photo by Donna DeCesare

Struggling to Change in Spite of the Odds

Belize City, Belize–”Stinga,” is a Conscious Youth success story. The former head of the Black Scorpion Posse, BSP, is one of the original gang leaders, who signed a historic truce halting gun battles on Belize City streets. Stinga surveys his muddy surroundings before venturing from

A child is carried by her mother, waiting in line for donated food at a refugee camp, La Gloria, in Chiapas, Mexico.

Guatemala’s Refugees

APF Fellow Vince Heptig lives in Guatemala City and has been photographing Guatemala’s refugees in Mexico and other locations. In addition to living in poverty, the new generation of refugee children has lost most cultural ties to its Mayan heritage. A child is carried by

Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, as shown in a police mug shot taken in the evening of his arrest during the Rovinia raid. Photo courtesy of the South Africa History Archives, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Messages from Underground

We had just finished our first cup of tea, when Hilda Bernstein rose and left the kitchen. Several minutes passed. Hilda was eighty-one years old and had acquired an artificial hip not long ago, and she negotiated the staircase of the small townhouse outside Oxford,

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Benazir Bhutto: Comeback Kid?

Note: The pictures for this story are copyrighted and not available for web publication. Benazir Bhutto, world-class political pugilist, is refusing to go down for the count. For over a year now, this twice-elected, twice-deposed ex-prime minister of Pakistan, has seemed to be on the