A podcast about history

That's not stuck in the past


Since I’ve had to postpone my boat tours due to the Coronavirus crisis, I’ve decided to move the discussion about Bay history to the podcast. My guest is Chris Carlsson, who also leads boat tours on the Bay and just published “Hidden San Francisco: A Guide to Lost Landscapes, Unsung Heroes & Radical Histories” (Pluto Press). Our conversation begins with the arrival of the Spanish in 1776 and then explores how subsequent waves of newcomers radically impacted native people and ecosystems, often in devastating ways. 

Although we take a critical look at colonization, we don’t dwell exclusively on tragedies. Since the rise of the Save the Bay movement, an activist campaign spearheaded by three Berkeley women, the Bay has transformed from a vast cesspool of human and industrial waste to the site of dozens of restoration projects that are expanding marsh habitats and enticing great numbers of fish, birds, and marine mammals to return. Against the backdrop of our current economic turmoil and political uncertainty, we look back at the Bay as a contested space, and try to find lessons in its ebbs and flows. Listen here: Apple / SoundCloud / Spotify.

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Along with LisaRuth Elliot, Chris Carlsson runs Shaping SF, “a participatory community history project.” “Hidden SF” compiles many of the stories that have been shared during Shaping SF’s walking and bicycle tours.
Before shifting the focus of his career to local history, Chris Carlsson was one of the “co-conspirators” behind Processed World, a magazine that sharply critiqued office culture, corporate America, and the absurdity of capitalism. All issues are available online at Internet Archive. [Image: Bill Koeb]


The Bay and beyond with Chris Carlsson
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