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News & Insight

Powerful Image of Peaceful Protester Goes Viral

By Shivani Reddy on July 12th 2016

Among the plethora of viral media plaguing Facebook newsfeeds around the world, it is a photo of Ieshia Evans that stands out from the pack. The image, now deemed ‘Iconic’, was taken by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman this past Saturday at a Black Lives Matter protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Protesters were asked to clear the roadway or risk being arrested and Evans stepped forth, unarmed and filled with undying conviction.

What Bachman captured next was the immediate reaction to her defiance: two police officers suited in riot gear charging towards what seemed to be, and was, a peaceful protester. “I went into the “street with my arms crossed and just stared at them,” she recounts to The Daily Mail, “I guess they didn’t like it because they detained me.” According to Natasha Haynes, a long time friend of Evans’, Ieshia was “overcome with emotion” after witnessing the recent civil unrest of Black rights in America, and feared for the future of her 5-year-old son.

28-year-old Evans was held overnight and released Sunday and was amongst 131 people arrested from the Baton Rouge protests according to U.S. Uncut. An image as cogent as this once seen, cannot be unseen.

Photo by Jeff Widener, AP, Iconic “Tank Man”, 1989.

Photo by Jeff Widener, AP, Iconic “Tank Man”, 1989.

The public has compared Bachman’s domineering capture to the likes of Jeff Widener’s ‘Tank Man’ image from the Tiananmen Square Protests back in 1989, stating that the strength behind both subjects in each image speak volumes for the generation they represent. Their bravery is now publicized, and their beliefs are immortalized in these images creating iconic, historic moments in time.

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In the times we find ourselves in, images like this should compel us to visualize the pain and strength of those suffering from the injustice sweeping the nation, and again remind us of how powerful our chosen vocation really is. Read more on the Evans’ involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement pertaining to the Baton Rouge Protest on The Daily Mail and U.S. Uncut.

Shivani wants to live in a world where laughter is the cure to pretty much everything. Since she can’t claim “Serial Bingewatcher” as an occupation, she’ll settle for wedding/portrait photographer at Lin and Jirsa & marketing coordinator here at SLR Lounge. For those rare moments when you won’t find a camera in her hand, she will be dancing, eating a donut, or most likely watching Seinfeld.

Follow her on Instagram: @shivalry_inc

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Clarissa Olivier

    This is a powerful image. Is it not profound that, the quite, peaceful protest of Leshia Evans was the heard the loudest. It is so important to stand up for what we believe in, but it is how we stand up that makes all the difference.

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