5 Photographers Documenting The Resistance
These past few months have been an emotional roller-coaster, and at times, we’ve admittedly started to lose sight (and hope) of what makes humanity great. One fool-proof anecdote to the cynicism? Activism. If you’re stuck at your desk, simply start with these five artists below; each one is doing his or her part to fight the good fight, as well as document the narrative of resistance along the way.
"Piper",9, transgender girl, North Florida, -from a note that her parents sent to friends and family when she was 5. "We are extremely proud of "Piper" and love her unconditionally. This is an important step in her young life. "Piper" is on her own journey of self-discovery, and as her immediate family, we are right there alongside her to love, nurture and support her 100%, every step of the way. None of us know what the future will bring, but as we help her navigate the world, we hope that you will join us in acceptance, kindness, and encouragement to foster a supportive environment for our bright, beautiful child. " #transcendingself #hope #trans #transgender #genderqueer #gender #nonbinary #agender #gendernonconforming
New York native Annie Tritt believes in documenting the mystery behind the lens, and we’re right there with her. With every image, she looks to dig deeper, and specifically here with Transcending Self project, where she photographs transgender and gender fluid youth ages ranging from 2 to 20 while sharing their stories. Above, this young transgender girl is photographed at just nine years old, on the road to self discovery.
After the tragic death of Freddie Gray and its aftermath, Allen shot to the spotlight for his work in documenting what he’s coined “A Beautiful Ghetto”. Taking to Instagram, the 26-year-old West Baltimore native photographed the demonstrations, both peaceful and the violent alike. His images grabbed attention from BBC, CNN, with one rising to the cover of TIME magazine and re-shared by celebs like Rihanna. If you’re not already following this artist, get on it stat.
Based in NYC, Wasik captures it all, from the streets of New York to the very beautiful Islands of Grease, to the current nightmare presidency of one Donald Trump. His recent project, Trumpland, highlights the 2016 election. When New York City and the rest of the country took to the streets to protest our anger, Mathias (camera in hand) followed suit. The resulting imagery is breathtaking, and ultimately, historic. Need we say more?
June 10, 2016 "Crossing that Bridge" Yesterday Assistant Chief of Police Gary Tittle tried to comfort this young man in front of the police station where a memorial was erected for people to come and grieve. Originally I had walked over the the Assistant Chief to make a portrait of him standing infront of the precinct with this single stalk of flower. However with the outpouring of people that kept approaching him to hug or offer their support, I decided to hang back and snap a portrait of him instead. I posted this picture on the @time instagram feed and was surprised at some of the comments. This one picture taught me so much about where we are and how far change is. Some of the comments claimed that this photo was a fake, staged or pandering to police propaganda. I guess it's easier to dismiss it, than to actually believe that in this photo are two human beings grieving. I am taking over the @time Instagram feed while documenting the events as they unfold here in Dallas Texas #dallasportrait #streetphotography #streetportrait #makeportraits #makeportrait #leica240 @leicaakademieusa @leicacamerausa
If you haven’t followed Radcliffe (Ruddy) Roye yet, it’s possible you’re living under a rock. The TIME Magazine, National Geographic-honored, Instagram Photographer of The Year (2016) is just about as activist as they come, and then some. Seeking to highlight the spirt and culture of black communities, Roye is succeeding in monumental ways, bringing light and representation to neighborhoods that may not have had one prior.
Completely blown away by the amazing trans activists in India who I met today on International Transgender Day of Visibility. Gori, left, and her dance partner performed at a seminar held by Mitr Trust on inclusive education for trans women and gender non-conforming persons. Thanks to Rudrani Chettri for the invitation and to @sujatroghosh for putting me in touch. So inspiring and beautiful, inside and out! #transgender #women #transdayofvisibility #india #beauty #love #art #dance #bejeweled #colorful #lgbtqia #education #activist #outreach #socialchange
Villasana is a globally-recognized photojournalist who’s masterful combination of activism and documentation has us hooked. Photographing people of all sorts to showcase (and protect) their identities and rights, this influencer’s reach spans far beyond that of Instagram. Since beginning her work, Villasana has also founded an annual workshop in Peru to help empower communities and photographers alike.
Featured image via Mathias Wasik
Stay tuned to Milk for more activist art we love.