History Museum’s Exhibition Shines a Spotlight on Migrant Farm Workers

By February 25, 2020Press Releases
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LOS ALTOS, CA (February 25, 2020) Los Altos History Museum’s new exhibition chronicles the lives of contemporary migrant farm workers, on display March 19 through June 21. “In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte” features photojournalist David Bacon’s evocative photographs alongside moving oral narratives from migrant farm workers. The exhibition, fully translated into both English and Spanish, gives insight into the food they eat and the lives of the people who harvest it.

Traveling with migrant workers as the fruit and harvest season moves from the Mexican border to Washington state, “In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte” sheds light on some basic questions: How much do we know about the lives of the people who feed us? Where do they live? How does it feel to do some of the hardest repetitive labor imaginable? And, what answers do farm workers themselves have to end their poverty and endless migration?

“The Museum wanted to host this traveling exhibition as a follow-up to our successful bilingual exhibition on Juana Briones, “Inspired by Juana: La Doña de la Frontera,” said Dr. Elisabeth Ward, Executive Director.

Photographer, journalist, and activist David Bacon spent over three decades documenting the lives of migrant workers, building upon his previous work as a union organizer. The exhibition is based upon the book of the same name, recently published by University of California Press.

As Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Center, writes, “Bacon captures the humanity of workers who work each day in demanding physical labor, in the hot sun, and for poverty wages. This is one of the few publications that captures the authentic stories of California farm workers, through their own voices and with the images of their living and working conditions.” Bacon is also the author of The Children of NAFTA, Communities Without Borders, Illegal People, and The Right to Stay Home.

An opening reception will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 2-5pm. Additional related programming includes:

In the Fields of the North / En los Campos del Norte is produced in partnership with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations, and History San José; and is touring the US through Exhibit Envoy, which provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California.

Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collections, permanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, visit: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org

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