The Photo Album That Succeeded Where Pancho Villa Failed

The Revolutionary May Have Tried to Find My Grandfather by Raiding a New Mexico Village—But a Friend’s Camera Truly Captured Our Family Patriarch

For a long time—at first sporadically but lately in hot pursuit—I’ve been looking for Sam. Sam is Sam Ravel, my paternal grandfather.  I scour the indexes of history books for his name, search archives across the country for references to him, and probe the recesses of my memory for details of his life from family lore.  But the artifact that has opened an entirely new and exciting aperture into my grandfather’s life was one I’d first seen decades ago.

Sam is my family’s patriarch, the immigrant who made our branch of …

Where I Go: The Geology of Memory | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Headlands of Yehliu

It Took Me 20 Years and Five Visits to Develop My Own Relationship to Taiwan

I was hiking the Port Orford Heads State Park on the coast of Southern Oregon this summer when I realized how closely the rock formations and coastline resemble the rugged …

The Era of the Girl Is Now | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Era of Change Is Now

Las Fotos Project Celebrates 10 Years of Viewing Los Angeles Through the Lens of Young Women

The 18 teenagers logged onto Zoom that Thursday evening had every reason to sound weary. It had been, collectively speaking, a rough week in the rough fall of 2020. During …

Repainting History in Technicolor | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Repainting History in Technicolor

Esiri Erheriene-Essi’s 'Familiar Strangers' Finds New Recognition in Photographs of the Mid-Century African Diaspora

The earliest colored photographs were fragile black-and-white daguerreotypes, hand-painted with a watercolor technique. The task was laborious, not to mention risky, because the plates were so easily damaged. But the …

‘Sharp and Subversive’ Scenes of Integrated 1940s Summer Camps  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

‘Sharp and Subversive’ Scenes of Integrated 1940s Summer Camps 

Gordon Parks's Photos of Black and White Kids at Play Resisted Segregation in Nature and Beyond by Presenting a Vision of America as He Hoped It Could Be

One day in 1923, three white boys pushed 11-year-old Gordon Parks into the Marmaton River in rural Kansas. Parks couldn’t swim and he tumbled under the surface, the current pushing …

Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where Tulare Lake Once Was, a New Telling of California’s History

Jesse Amble White’s Photographs Show Modern Landscapes That ‘Push Back at the Moment’

All but one of these photographs of California by Jesse White come from California Exposures, a book that he and I, his father, did together. Like all photographs, they don’t …