I have been photographing protests, demonstrations, rallies, marches for over half a decade now; I have seen people passing out markers to write on their own bodies legal aid and bail bond telephone numbers to call in the event of arrests, I have seen volunteers hand out bottles of water and granola bars, even hand sanitiser and masks in 2020, but never have I seen anyone hand out borscht.
To end the year, we at 80 Proof Photos present a photographic retrospect to show how this year had went for some of us.
This to me is what makes America great, that we can celebrate our own and each others’ heritages, experience each others’ cultures, embrace our differences, and better ourselves from learning about one other, and in doing so become stronger together.
I spent the next several hours running with stampeding protestors as the police charged, photographing make-shift barricades from trash dumpsters, a police cruiser flipped on its side, another on fire, protestors getting arrested, all before running out of film and realising that I should head home to safety.
On the day of this writing, April 29, 2020, Chicago and the State of Illinois are in the 39th day of shelter-in-place.
All of a sudden, a woman stood up, walked down the aisle, yanked off her pants, and began to dance.
My take-away from both instances is that we human beings, no matter how evolved and developed we are, can be as simplistic as the common squirrel hoarding nuts before winter.
To say that things have gone arseways at the moment is a bit of an understatement.
To be fair, I was more preoccupied with learning to feel comfortable with myself . . . in a state of public pantslessness.
“Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day.”