“In 1967, a 56-year-old lawyer met a young inmate with a brilliant mind and horrifying stories about life inside. Their complicated alliance—and even more complicated romance—would shed light on a nationwide scandal.” Ethan Watters’s article for Texas Monthly on the state prison system represents many months of research in the Briscoe Center’s Jalet-Cruz Papers.
The Eyes of the People
The Briscoe Center has acquired the photographic archive of Pulitzer Prize–winning photographer Carolyn Cole. A staff photographer at the Los Angeles Times since 1994, Cole is perhaps best known for her conflict photography, including assignments to Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Liberia. In addition, she has covered many major national news stories such as the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Still active, Cole continues to capture American history, documenting the 2016 presidential election as well as recent border patrol operations in the Southwest. In each situation her goal is the same: to be “the eyes of the people.”
“I’ve always had a very clear definition of what my role was,” says Cole. “I’m making images that speak to what I’m seeing, building a bridge between readers and the outside world. I want to draw people in.”
Charlie Did It. (Just Ask George)
During the 1980s, the United States government provided covert assistance to the Mujahideen, an Afghan rebel force engaged in armed revolt against their Russian occupiers. At the heart of these clandestine efforts was a not-so-covert Texan, Congressman Charlie Wilson. 6’7” in his boots, Wilson made multiple trips to Afghanistan between 1982 and 1988, where he was greeted as a hero. The reason: Wilson’s wheeling and dealing in the U.S. House of Representatives (he was a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee) enabled millions of dollars in equipment and supplies to be funneled to the rebels.