The final Wednesday of the year brings us to the second-to-the-last post in the series, should it conclude as previously planned. I am undecided. For now, our selection captures some of 2020’s most important themes—triple-P: pandemic, politics, and protests; for sure one overlaps another in some manner or another. My first choice, self-titled “Respirator Life“, by David Geitgey Sierralupe, is unfortunately All Rights Reserved. So I had to pick another selection, one Creative Commons-licensed, from the carpenter who lives in Eugene, Ore.
“Rally for Democracy“—with a nurse wearing KN95 mask and typifying fallout from the Presidential Election and SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2), better known as COVID-19—was a contender. But the choice came down to a coin-toss between two street shots with the same self-title: “Blue Lives Matter meets ACAB“. The acronym stands for “all cops are bastards”. The second choice (blame the quarter for landing tails).
Our shooter, who says “call me Getch because there are too many Daves”, describes the moment captured on June 22, 2020, using Canon EOS Rebel T6 and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens: “A group of Springfield folks decided to have a march to show their love of cops. ACAB met them on the streets. There was tension”. You think? Vitals: f/6.3, ISO 1600, 1/200 sec, 250mm.
Protests against the police and to defund them or to end racial hatred are well-documented. Demonstrations like this one are too often ignored by photojournalists and my mainstream media colleagues. That’s Reason 1 to give this poignant protest portrait greater exposure. Reason 2 is the simmering anger that it represents from the other side, so to speak; racial rioters aren’t the only people pissed-off.
Reason 3 is the foreshadowing: The United States of America is quite possibly in the early stages of a second civil war—as unsubstantiated but persistent accusations about alleged, and widespread, ballot fraud cling to the Presidential Election; among the 74 million voters choosing Donald Trump there is rising rage that may yet turn to violence. Should somehow the outcome swing to him during the Jan. 6, 2021 certification of electoral votes, expect agitators, looters, and rioters from the progressive and social justice ranks to take to the streets, instead—like they did during Spring and Summer.
No matter who recites the oath of office on January 20, cultural, moral value, and political fissures will pressure the Union to break apart. Texas bringing an election-dispute case to the Supreme Court against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with 17 other states joining in, marks the lines along which a deeply divided nation could fracture.
With that somber statement about the year ahead, let’s get back on topic: Getch’s striking shot is a keeper for compelling composition, intensity of emotion captured, strategic bokeh that contrasts the subjects, and use of telephoto reach to create intimacy.
Getch joined Flickr in September 2005. Do spend time plowing through his Photostream, which is a treasure-trove of 2020 social activism.
Photo Credit: David Geitgey Sierralupe