Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Don't think, Do!

About a year ago this November, I had the opportunity to travel with a group of my friends down to Ft. Benning, Georgia for a few days during Thanksgiving break. We didn't go down for sightseeing or for a relaxing break, not at all. We were making the 12 hour drive to go to a protest against the US Army School of the Americas. 

Now a brief history of the cause: the group that has been putting on the protest and vigil for the past 19 years is called the SOA (School of America) Watch. The School of America is a military training camp for Latin American soldiers located in Ft. Benning. This school has many graduates that have a direct correlation with many murders and massacres of their own innocent people. In short, it's bad real bad. I don't want to get into it to much so for more information check out the SOA Watch's website

So now to my point, this protest was AMAZING and inspired me so much. There were around 20,000 people there (don't quote me on this number I couldn't find any source) all fighting (peacefully of course) for so many people who had lots their lives and families because of this school. There was chanting, singing, marching, it was so powerful and moving. 

I had brought the Nikon D80 that I had been borrowing from a friend and was able to capture it on film.  I'm so in love with the photos and I wanted to share a few with you because the next vigil is coming up this November. It is the 20th anniversary and should be a sight to see. If you can GET DOWN THERE! 

I had no idea when I went down there that I would be around so much raw emotion and have the chance to photograph something so life changing. I've taken photos before of protests and other events but this one was different somehow. I think that it was because everyone's guard was down and no one was holding back anything, anger, sadness, desperation- anything.

Now when I'm working on a photography project it helps to think back to the protest and how I need to stop thinking about things and just shoot. Almost all of my best projects have come from little to no planning. It might sound ridiculous but sometimes I forget how easy it is to take pictures.

Here are a few of the photos I took: 

My friend Jessie!

The marchers who are in the background are all those who crossed the police line.
Anne! The amazing woman who invited us to go to the protest/vigil with her! 

They had a cross for everyone who had lost their life due to an SOA graduate at the end of the march they were put in to the fence at the gates of the school. It was so powerful  and devastating to see how many there were.

I wish I could go this year but it doesn't look like I can due to lack of funds. If anyone ends up going take lots of photos and let me know! Even if you can't go it's a great group to get involved with!

May X never mark just one spot,


PS Thanks Jessie-Lee for the sign off idea! What do you guys think? I think it might be a keeper!!

1 comment:

Jessie-Lee said...

I didn't know you went to that. You never told me! And your right, you do your best stuff when you don't plan; you stress too much otherwise. I like this. You should post more photography and more about all the causes you support.