Whenever I post content of any political nature, I always start out with my obligatory disclaimer. The posting of this content is not an endorsement. It is simply a documentation through photo journalism. My job as a journalist is to tell and show what happened. Interpretation of the content is left up to the reader or viewer. This makes my job easy. All I have to do is use the principles of photography to tell the story. Coupled with these principles are the 4 key elements to complete a body of work. I’ve talked about these in a previous post. These elements are as follows.
- A Sense of Place
- Cast of Characters
- Closing the Story
We are living in fascinating times, especially when it comes to politics. It seems the division in this country has reached a fever pitch. When we look back on historical events, what pops into your head? I would bet that a photograph pops into your head. Who can forget Alfred Eisenstaedt’s photograph of an American sailor kissing a woman in Times Square showing the excitement and joy at the end of World War II. Remember the Chinese protester standing in front of Army tanks in Tiananmen Squarein? The photograph of the U.S. troops raising the flag in Iwo Jima is one of the most reproduced images in this country. How could anyone forget the little Vietnamese girl, nine-year-old Kim Phuc, running naked down the street after ripping her burning clothes off because of an accidental napalm drop during the Vietnamese War. The list goes on. The point is that photographs are important and they’re powerful. When I’m no longer on this earth, my children and their children can view my photos and get a glimpse of the times before them.
When the Sunrise Movement’s upcoming event showed up in my Facebook feed through one of the local news outlets, I decided to check out the event. There were other climate strikes that day at different places and times, but the 10:30 student event was the one that fit into my schedule. It was a cool, cloudy morning with showers in the forecast, but the rain held off. A group of roughly 40 people gathered underneath the train tracks at the south end of the Bicentennial Mall in Nashville. After waiting for more protesters and working on their signs, they began their march to the State Capitol building. That’s where I intercepted the march.
As I photographed the group making their way to the capitol, I could see the comradery. They proudly held their signs while singing and chanting about rising up against the powers that be. They appeared to be having a good time. Once at the steps of the capitol building, they continue singing while gathering on the steps with their large trademark banner on the front row. After some more chanting and singing, it was time for open mic. Two megaphones were placed on the ground in front of the crowd. There was a brief moment of silence and then one by one, protesters grabbed the megaphone to tell their story and voice their concerns. You can hear the sincerity in their voices and you could see the emotion on their faces. The emotions ranged from sadness to being scared and even angry. This went on for several minutes. Toward the end, I asked one of the organizers for a group picture. He gladly obliged my request. After the group photo, they marched down from the capitol for a short gathering on the north end of the capitol grounds. I took a few more shots before leaving. Well, that sums up my narrative. The pictures tell a much better story.
As mentioned earlier, this post is not an endorsement. However, I do endorse free speech. Whether I agree or disagree, I will always promote the right to peacefully protest. I think we can all agree on that. I believe it is always a good thing to see the issue from both sides of the aisle. If you like this coverage, check out my posts from my American as Apple Pie series.
I love capturing events like this. Don’t miss my next protest event by subscribing to my blog or liking and following me on my Facebook Page, Shuttering Thru Life. Thanks for reading!