For a period of ten years, beginning in the mid-1960s, Nacio Jan Brown photographed virtually all of the major anti-war and social protest movement activities in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographs were published widely in the “underground” press of the times. In addition his work has appeared in many books, magazines, and newspapers worldwide, including art historian Peter Selz’s recent book, The Art of Engagement: Visual Politics California and Beyond.
As a photographer for the San Francisco Express Times, an underground weekly newspaper, Brown would sit in Caffe Mediterraneum on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley and wait for a riot to arrive.
“On this one segment of one street were flower children and riots, hard drugs and Jesus freaks, left-wing intellectuals and psychedelics, natural foods and runaways. From the time I began to photograph for the underground press in the mid-sixties, I planned to document the life on this block. In 1969 I started. I felt that the counterculture was beginning to fragment. While most people on the block still identified more with each other than with those outside, tension was increasing and things were changing fast.”
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