Photography and Oral History Show to Open at CI

CSU Channel Islands is hosting a photography and oral history exhibit created through a partnership with California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and award-winning photographer David Bacon. The show, titled “Living Under the Trees”, opens on Feb. 4 and presents a series of photographs and oral history panels focusing on the current housing needs of the Mexican indigenous farm workers in California. Many of the photographs were taken in the farming areas surrounding the CI campus.

Dr. Kathleen Contreras, a lecturer in the University’s Education program, said that she had seen the exhibit in Santa Paula and thought that bringing the show to CI and its neighbors would be a meaningful way to promote dialogue and cultural interchange within the community. Bacon’s work contrasts the bounty of California’s agricultural industry with the living conditions of its migrant workforce.

“We have students who are children of migrant workers so it seemed appropriate for members of our University community and the public to be able to view Bacon’s photographs and read the oral history panels which are first-hand accounts of the workers’ experiences here in California,” stated Contreras. “David Bacon really worked in the capacity of a photojournalist to put this exhibit together.”

To introduce the show, a hosted reception for David Bacon, the CRLA staff and members of the indigenous community will be held on Feb. 4, from 6-8 p.m., in Broome Library Room 1320 at the CI campus. CI students, faculty, staff, and the public are invited to attend. The exhibit is sponsored by the History, Chicana/o Studies, and Education programs and will run through March 4.

For additional information about the photography and oral history exhibit, contact Dr. Kathleen Contreras at 805-437-8976 or