Witness

Three social protests captured in Detroit in 2016

 Detroit, MI, USA.

"It does not do to rely too much on silent majorities Evey, for silence is a fragile thing, one loud noise, and it's gone. But the people are so cowed and disorganised. A few might take the opportunity to protest, but it'll just be a voice crying in the wilderness. Noise is relative to the silence preceding it. The more absolute the hush, the more shocking the thunderclap. Our masters have not heard the people's voice for generations Evey, and it is much, much louder than they care to remember.” 
― Alan MooreV for Vendetta


The photograph has long been instrumental to the act of protest. Though photographs have always played a defining role in our collective memory, they have never been more immediate or reproducible. Advancements in technology have given rise to new avenues for self-documentation and citizen journalism, while social media has allowed us to bear witness in real-time.

This, of course, is the great power of photo-journalism; it serves first and foremost as a tool to create empathy in its viewer. Where the reported actions of a group, however well-intentioned, can quickly spiral into discord in newspaper reports, a photograph of one person reminds onlookers of their own compassion and clemency. What’s more, when it comes to protests, photographs printed in magazines and newspapers are fundamental to their political success – without some record or physical proof for the archive, mass uprisings can be quieted and the movement they represent remain impotent.
 
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