In the wake of the killing of George Floyd in police custody in May 2020, protests spread across the US and to cities worldwide. When demonstrations were called in the UK by Black Lives Matter, protest photography showed the world the anger and hurt people were feeling. Outraged by police brutality in the US and other countries, people took to the streets – including in London – to show solidarity with Floyd’s family, and to call for an end to racism and injustice.
As well as covering the protests as a video journalist, I attended as a freelance news photographer to capture the activists’ emotional demonstrations. My earlier work covering humanitarian aid crises has helped me hone a quick workflow, meaning I can share my work without delay: working with two cameras and a tablet, I was able to file pictures directly to agencies and newsrooms quickly throughout the demonstrations. My work has been used by Vice magazine to illustrate a story about tension between the police and the communities they serve.
It can be hard to separate personal values from the need to be impartial during major news events, but in covering anti-racist events I aim to do service to the protesters’ understandable anger while being ready to capture violence if it happens. As long as protests are called by Black Lives Matter, protest photography will help show the movement’s passion and capture protesters’ interactions with the police – for better or worse. I will continue to be on hand to cover the protests, through video and photography.
June 03, 2020