Black Lives Matter: A Photographer’s View
On the day that prosecution and defence deliver their closing arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd, I find myself reflecting on images that I took last year during the BLM protests. Back in the spring of 2020, as the world fought a deadly virus, people took to the streets to fight a deadly system. A system failing black lives across the globe. Sadly, we are still failing.
Back in 2013, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi came together to form Black Lives Matter. Fuelled by the murder of 17 year old African American Trayvon Martin and the subsequent aquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman. In the words of Patrisse,
“As human beings we usually fight for the things that move us out of complacency. We fight for clarity and truth telling. We fight for a world that we want our children to live in. A world we want our communities to thrive in. I’ve always fought for my family. My community. For Black poor people.”
Black Lives Matter Fighting For Change
Tens of thousands of people have protested across the UK against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Importantly men, woman and children of all ages and various backgrounds came out to stand in solidarity. Showing importantly, that this isn’t only an American problem, essentially the UK is not innocent. To quote Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence.
“Black people are still dying on the streets and in the back of police vans. For me, institutional racism is ingrained and it’s hard to think of how it will be eradicated from the police force. We have more than earned the right to live and not have our children killed in the way Stephen was.”
My BLM Photo Story
I find my thoughts about Black Lives Matter hard to put into words. I’ve not had to endure racism. However, in my own way I feel the need to tell the story and my images are my words. My pictures are my way to share the message.
I saw the huge numbers of people determined to stand and fight for change. Hopefully I experienced a turning point in history. Time will tell. Without any shadow of a doubt, it’s clear that we need to help create a better future for anyone systemically oppressed.
“White Silence is Violence”
Reportage Photographer in Hertfordshire
I’m a reportage style wedding photographer and family photographer based in Hertfordshire. You can read more about that by heading to this page.
My Black Lives Matter pictures are a personal project. When I’m not photographing weddings and families I love to shoot some street photography. If you’re interested in seeing more of this, you might find my street photography in Varanasi, India interesting. You can hop over here to see that.
To conclude, to read more about Black Lives Matter and their recent projects, visit their website here.