Join Ken Light in the ICP library for a signing of his new book What's Going On? 1969–1974.
Ken Light's monograph of his earliest photos from 1969 to 1974 document the social landscape of America as it roiled with upheaval. He began as a participant in the youth movement and then became an observer of the entire spectrum of the cultural and political wars in America. Light criss-crossed the country with youthful passion and a yearning to explain his country to himself, asking, "What's going on?"
Along the way, his frontline photos documented people across race, class and political lines. The resulting portrait is more than a flashback. It is a unique and important historical record that counteracts the truncated memory of the sixties that has been inserted into our psyche by both editorial and commercial media. Like a pavlovian response, the sixties conjures up images of young people smoking pot, dancing high on LSD to rock music in the park. In fact, those years weren’t like that at all for much of America.
What’'s Going On? shows the gritty, down home truth of the working class trying to keep a toehold on the American Dream as wages began to stagnate, and unions weakened. It shows how college students, informed by the media about government policies in Vietnam became disillusioned and then empowered to protest. And, the book shows how divided the United States was politically as the new, more egalitarian world order was foisted upon it.
This portrait of America will make many of us smile as long forgotten memories are stirred, and will remind us that so much of the turmoil we are experiencing today is because we have not yet absorbed the cataclysmic changes brought about in the sixties. This book is vital for young people, too. This is the cultural and historical legacy that they are carrying. They will understand so much more about who they are and what our country is facing now after visiting the past.
Please note that due to professional obligations, photographer's book signing dates may change without notification. Limit of two signed copies per customer.