Seeing Silicon Valley: Equity Through Art Series

San Mateo County Libraries welcomes Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner on Wednesday, September 22 at 6:00 pm as part of our 2021-2022 Equity through Art series in partnership with the County of San Mateo’s Office of Equity and Social Justice. Mary Beth and Fred will discuss their collaborative work Seeing Silicon Valley: Life Inside a Fraying America, which reveals the hidden side of Silicon Valley, followed by questions from the audience. This event will be hosted by Shireen Malekafzali, the Chief Equity Officer at San Mateo County who is focused on building a more equitable county government structure, policies, practices, and procedures to support more equitable outcomes in communities of color, low-income communities, and other communities facing inequities.

“Silicon Valley has long been a shining example of those who dream of a society built around individual initiative and enabling technologies. But what does it feel like to live in such a world? What kind of society does the relentless pursuit of technological innovation and wealth produce?”—Mary Beth Turner, Seeing Silicon Valley.

Mary Beth Meehan and Fred Turner join forces to demystify the heart of the tech world. With arresting photography and intimate stories, Seeing Silicon Valley makes this hidden world visible. Instead of young entrepreneurs striving for efficiency in minimalist corporate campuses, we see portraits of struggle—families displaced by an impossible real estate market, workers striving for a living wage, and communities harmed by environmental degradation. If the fate of Silicon Valley is the fate of America—as so many of its boosters claim—then this book gives us an unvarnished look into the future.

Browse our catalog to place a hold on Seeing Silicon Valley. Register in advance for our live virtual author event on September 22.

Praise for Seeing Silicon Valley, Mary Beth Meehan, and Fred Turner

Mary Beth Meehan is an acclaimed photographer known for her large-scale, community-based portraiture centered around questions of representation, visibility, and social equity in the United States. Fred Turner is Harry and Norman Chandler Professor of Communication at Stanford University and a Silicon Valley culture expert.

Meehan and Turner have captured a side of the valley rarely seen. Humane, insightful, and deeply compelling, this book tells the story of Silicon Valley in a completely new and utterly magnetic way.”—Margaret O’Mara (The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America)

[Meehan] reveals the striking contrasts between the world of start-ups and that in which their employees live.... But underneath, Meehan also depicts another, more subtle dissonance—between the way Silicon Valley sees itself, and the way it really is fresh, in-depth, lavishly illustrated study.”—Le Monde