To investigate anti-immigrant militias, Shane Bauer spent days and nights along the border between Mexico and the United States, dressed in camouflage gear, with a radio on his shoulder and a Ruger Mini-14 rifle in his hands. To find out why thousands of prisoners had begun a hunger strike throughout the country, he wore the uniform of a guard in one of the oldest and most feared private prisons in the deep South.
For Shane Bauer, journalism is not just a matter of principles, but of putting it all on the line. If it’s necessary to get involved, personally and literally, to uncover something, he doesn’t hold back.
Bauer is a 36-year-old formerly Berkeley student and an investigative journalist for Mother Jones, one of the most important voices of the progressive media. He’s worked extensively in the Middle East for several U.S. newspapers and spent almost two years in an Iranian prison from 2009 along with other two freelance journalists. Bauer, who was this year among the guests at the International Festival in Ferrara, has investigated some of the most disturbing aspects of the reality of his country, where violence, a fetish for weaponry and ideologies of hate are now dominating the scene, making up the portrait of a violent society, where one could die every day almost by accident.