Chris Zarconi Shows Documentary Men of Steel at GW’s Corcoran Gallery

Last night, my son Jack and I went to see the documentary Men of Steel by photographer Chris Zarconi.  Zarconi is a graduate student at George Washington University and set out in his to photograph the rust belt and interview those still living in cities like Youngstown, Ohio.  He is an amazing photojournalist and filmmaker.  These are his pictures (published with his consent). Zarconi was also one of the plaintiffs in Chang v. United States, the mass arrest case stemming from the 2002 protests of the World Bank and the IMF.  I had the honor of representing Chris and the other plaintiffs with my co-lead counsel Daniel Schwartz and his colleagues at the Bryan Cave law firm.  Chris was arrested while working as a photo journalist for the award-winning Hatchet university newspaper.

 

The documentary features a former steel worker in Youngstown (not far from where my mother grew up) who lost his job just a few months short of his pension.  Ronnie G is a accoustic guitar player who wrote songs over the course of his career.  He not only performed some of his songs but gave the audience and extremely moving account of his life and lives of his fellow steel workers.  It was an incredible show.  Ron’s songs like “Too Damn Bad” were performed on his old guitar from back when he was an 18 year old steel worker in the 70s.

Zarconi has an incredible artist perspective and traveled around the rust belt in his 74 Airstream.  He met Ron and other fascinating individuals in these forgotten towns of mills, mines, and steel works.

 

 

26 thoughts on “Chris Zarconi Shows Documentary Men of Steel at GW’s Corcoran Gallery

  1. About 430,000 people live in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. The population is off 19% since its peak in 1970. About 3/4 of the population losses have been concentrated in Youngstown itself. The situation in and around Cleveland is nearly as bad (off > 17%). The commuter belts around Toledo, Akron, and Canton have suffered less (off 1-3%). The bottom hasn’t been reached yet for any of these places. (IIRC, Columbus and Cincinnati are holding their own).

  2. When American politicians decided they were actually the world’s politicians, the steel belt from Pittsburgh to Chicago rusted. Americans suffered and suffers yet those [jackasses] have yet to pay for that. Maybe Zarconi can tell that truth. If you think his pictures are amazing (I find them sad) you should have seen it when it and the country really hummed.
    ~ nephew of a Gary steel worker and cousin of many Westen PA coal miners.

    • Global economics is here and is going to stay, we can blame any politician we want but this transitional economy is not going to slow down. It is SAD but the other side of the coin is the improved living conditions in Asia, Mexico and South America.

      • That’s what you say. I suspect globalism will meet the same fate as it’s discredited cousin, Mercantilism, and it’s despicable ancestor feudalism. As for the third world economic improvement at our expense, let me be the first to tell them to enjoy it while it lasts. Americans won’t take foreign corporate exploitation forever. We fought a revolution once against it; we haven’t lost the knack.

  3. Hillary did not go to the Rust Belt much. Trump got some of the votes on a promise to bring back jobs. We will see what happens. Since Hillary does not work now maybe she and Billyboy can open a new factory in Michigan.

    • WTF could the Clinton’s produce except lies? Don’t need a factory for that. The vast majority of national politicians and operatives have never worked a job where you actually produce something. And, they don’t associate w/ producers. That is one of the reasons they are quick to give those jobs away to other countries for a few pieces of gold.

  4. Squeeky and David – could be clumsy fingers. That is what I blame it on. 🙂 Does sound like a depressing art show though. 😦

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