Tasked with creating a video portrait of a stranger using only still photos, my personal goal was to learn how to take photos with a 5D camera. My focus was on the experience of a protester.
The timing of the assignment coincided with a new wave of Black Lives Matters protests across the country in response to the the police killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. In both cases, the shootings were caught on video. I attended one of the protests in New York. Experiencing a protest through a camera was a very different, and it was challenging to adjust manual settings in such a rapidly changing atmosphere.
I realized while reviewing the images that many of the photos I’d taken were of people policing or observing the protest, and the general surveillance atmosphere (cars, helicopters, signs). I was documenting while being documented. I recorded the audio after putting the images together based on the almost-verbatim goodbye a friend (much more active in political organizing than I) gave before leaving midway.