Posted on May 25, 2017 - 9:36pm
Arts + Letters
When Rebecca Skloot was 16 years old, her biology teacher wrote a name on the blackboard: “Henrietta Lacks.” He explained that Lacks was a black woman whose surgeon had extracted cells from her tumor in 1951. They turned out to be the first human cells to survive indefinitely in a laboratory. Billions of so-called HeLa cells lived in labs around the world and had helped produce treatments for leukemia, influenza, Parkinson’s disease, and many other ailments.
Posted on May 18, 2017 - 11:42am
Fifty years ago the Oakland Museum of California acquired the largest collection of Dorothea Lange’s photography in the world. It was donated by her husband, Paul Taylor, after Lange’s death in 1965 and contains more than 25,000 negatives and 6,000 prints.
Posted on May 10, 2017 - 12:57pm
Resist and assist: A tidy couplet that captures the spirit of Anti Lab, a self-described “resource center for creative resistance” whose uses, like its political stances, are multiple. Anti Lab, which opened in Oakland in April, is an exhibition space for local artists, a meeting place for organizations that don’t have their own, and a hub for visitors to make use of free art supplies or grab a cup of coffee.
Posted on May 9, 2017 - 7:11pm
Cal Performances will stage the first ever modern-day performance of the original The Temple of Glory, a gem of the music library’s collection, this weekend at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley.
Posted on April 26, 2017 - 2:04pm
Nathalie Rhae—contortionist and assistant director of Circus Spire, a pre-professional youth circus troupe— gives CALIFORNIA a peek behind the scenes of the contemporary circus and shows us why she wants to spread her love of the aerial arts.
Posted on April 17, 2017 - 2:18pm
When Sonia Nazario was 14 years old, she and her mother came across a pool of blood on the sidewalk. It had been about a year since they’d moved from Kansas to her mother’s native Argentina, right at the onset of the country’s “Dirty War.” She asked her mother about the blood. “The military killed two journalists today, for telling the truth about what’s going on here,” Nazario recalls her saying.
Posted on April 6, 2017 - 3:55pm
Feminism has come roaring back, from the recent popular vote to pussy hats and other forms of protest. And so have its opponents. Whether happenstance or part of the Zeitgeist, Counterpoint Press last fall reissued a feminist classic, Woman and Nature: The Roaring Inside Her. Written by Susan Griffin and originally published in 1978, the book traces the fallout from Western culture’s artificial division between spirit and matter.
Posted on March 28, 2017 - 5:02pm
Seven hours before Shane Bauer was to start his 6 a.m. shift at the Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield, Louisiana, his wife shook him awake. “Something’s wrong,” she said. His colleague from the magazine Mother Jones, James West, hadn’t returned from shooting nighttime footage of the private prison where Bauer worked. Had officials there discovered that Bauer wasn’t just a regular guard, but an investigative reporter from San Francisco?
I couldn’t decide what made me feel dirtier—looking at hundreds of pictures of naked girls, or rifling through the personal belongings of a man I’d never met. But I was doing both one evening in the Bancroft Library reading room, traversing the late photographer Charles Gatewood’s massive archive chronicling the kink, tattoo, and body modification subcultures of America and especially the West Coast.
After graduating from the UC Berkeley’s Journalism School in 2000, Sara Maamouri has dedicated her career to working on documentaries about social justice. Frustrated by the portrayals of Arabs in the American media, the Tunisian-American alum decided to start focusing on Arabic films five years ago.
Posted on March 7, 2017 - 12:52pm
Last week Daniel Handler, better known as Lemony Snicket, author of the children’s novels A Series of Unfortunate Events, now a Netflix series that was largely written in Handler’s San Francisco dining room, lead an eclectic assortment of guests—singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen, record producer John Vanderslice, perfumer Yosh Han, poet Matthew Zapruder, and, in a powerful closing discussion, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood—through an evening of music and conversation.
Posted on March 1, 2017 - 12:11pm
The deadline on Wednesday for activists protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline to leave their encampment on the banks of the Missouri river follows months of contentiousness. Journalists covering the Standing Rock resistance—which at one point drew around 14,000 people—have faced myriad challenges.
Posted on February 22, 2017 - 4:00pm
The title of UC Berkeley criminologist Franklin Zimring’s book, When Police Kill, released by Harvard University Press this week, is as stark as its mission is simple: to conduct a comprehensive study of police use of lethal force in the United States.
Posted on February 21, 2017 - 4:42pm
For Tom Dalzell, a small scratch on the elbow in 2011 prompted a whirlwind of events, one that would take him on a sinuous journey through nearly every street of Berkeley.
The author and labor law activist found his life teetering in the balance after a minor wound became mortally septic. Days later, Dalzell exited the hospital with a reinvigoration for life itself. “I came out very determined to live life very differently,” he says. “One of things I chose to do, as a manifestation of my appreciation of Berkeley, was to walk every block of every street.”
Posted on February 9, 2017 - 3:29pm