Object Lesson

In November 2013, thousands of people gathered in Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the central square in Kiev, to protest their government’s refusal to ratify an agreement with the European Union. The demonstrations went on for months; when brutal attempts were made to stop them, they only became more popular. The crowds were enormous, containing, at times, more than 100,000 people. Many of the photographs from the protests had the organized disorder of medieval battle scenes: spiky barricades, rows of tents, patches of soil and ash, flashes of color where flags were held aloft, sudden brightness from reflections and fires, a great swirl of angry humanity and dark-helmeted riot police massed behind shields, all of it set against backdrops of smoke, fog or falling snow. So epic and cinematic were the photographs from the Maidan that it took some effort to remember that they were first and foremost news images, unstaged depictions of real, ongoing human suffering.

via Object Lesson – NYTimes.com.

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