May Day 2012 protest for immigrant's rights.
Have you been looking for the perfect coffee table book that chronicles the euphoria of the Giants' World series win, the radical expressions of the Occupy Movement and the heartbreak of the Oscar Grant protests?
"Bay Area Underground: Photos of Protests and Social Movements, 2008-2012," is a new photo book from a local writer and photographer, Matt Werner and Joe Sciarrillo that details the social, political and cultural in the Bay Area during Obama's first term in office, a time period that also encompasses the great recession.
"It's a coffee table book for people who love the Bay Area ... it's for people who want a chronicle of what happened," said Werner, who also wrote "Oakland in Popular Memory."
The book is a subtle critique of the mainstream media, which they said will focus on the violent events, completely ignoring a full day of positive political expression.
"We wanted to show a different side to these events, which we thought were underreported; or the reporter seemed to be at a different event entirely," said Werner, who has been a contributor for Oakland Local, and is currently a technical writer for Google.
Creating the book was a completely organic process for the pair, who sort of just happened to be at every major event in the Bay Area. Sciarillo said he went to protests, and about halfway through would decide to stop being a participant and start being a reporter.
"I would skateboard or ride my bike around the outside," he explained. "I always hoped to have a venue to share the photos."
The authors agree that their book isn't meant to be objective.
"It's definitely a left-leaning book ... but we wanted to chronicle radical events in a more mainstream way," Werner said.
"We want to shift the narrative around what's been happening in the Bay and want to show the stories of low-income people and people of color that often don't get covered," Sciarillo said. He then went on to tell a story about showing the book to more conservative friends of his family in Marin and how he was able to expand their views.
The book allows the reader to make up their own mind, for example, in regards to gentrification.
Because photo books are so costly to print, Werner and Sciarillo turned to Kickstarter to fund the first printing of 200 copies. The book was released on Jan. 1 and at the time of our conversation, almost half the books already were sold.
Copies of the book can be found at several local bookstores, including Diesel and Pegasus books in Rockridge and Moe's books on Telegraph in Berkeley. It also can be purchased online at http://thoughtpublishing.org/purchase/.
Full disclosure: Matt Werner has been a contributor for Oakland Local and is currently a technical writer for Google.