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From photojournalism to porn, it is now the players, not the professional spectators, that take the most memorable photographs. The photos taken by the guards at Abu Ghraib prison are shameful, and they may not quite meet the standards of either photojournalism or porn, but they are the iconic images of that horrific conflict.

Night Light is a book of progressive, participatory photojournalism. My goal was to take pictures of protests of the Bush regime, without taking myself out of those protests. From the first protest I photographed, where my camera and I were baptized in pepper spray, I put as much care into creating my own protest signs or leaflets as I did into my photography. However, it is in the chapter on my work in political street theatre that I came the closest to realizing my ideal of equally high quality participation and depiction.

The text of Night Light is as well composed as the images for it highlights the best writing of several years of Portland Indymedia photo essays. Each essay had a subtext such as, class warfare, how the media seduces and betrays us, or the questionable morality of religious conservatives. Night Light weaves all these themes together. The concluding chapter a visual chronology of Portland's protests of the Bush regime.

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About the Author

Brian Thomas
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