After a 12-hour flight followed by a two-day drive, Orville Schell stood in the Shanxi province of northwest China and looked out at a view that ruined his family vacation. “Coal is at the heart of the problem,” he said to himself at the time, and he was still saying it long after he’d returned to his job as dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Unable to shake the vision of “utter desecration that coal mining has caused,” he walked down the hall to the office of famed documentary photographer Susan Meiselas, whom he had hired as a guest lecturer.

“Let’s go to China,” he said. “Let’s see what we can find by way of photography that documents the cause of this problem.”

That was the start of “Coal + Ice,” an immersive and overpowering documentary photography and video exhibition that has been around the world en route to its American premiere Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture.

Full article by Sam Whiting in the San Francisco Chronicle.