‘I needed to document these images’

| 03 Jun 2020 | 03:48

Outrage, despair and pain are written on signs, masks and in the eyes of protesters in Monroe on a bright Sunday afternoon.

Injustices chanted, and names of victims recalled.

George Floyd, the black man’s image forever seared, was murdered at the knee of a law enforcement officer while fellow officers looked on or away.

And repeated injustices metered out toward people of color, skims and ripples across America daily.

This protest is to combat suffering and cruelty often times not realized outside the community in which hurt occurs, and mostly not brought to justice unless documented and spread on social media and the reality is witnessed by enough people in authority to bring justice, or witnessed by people who’s rage has tipped the scales into a boiling cauldron of pent up emotion and rage.

So while on a hike in Sterling Forest, I was texted by a friend that the protest was happening that evening.

I was wary of the potential for violence and thought my presence would not make a difference, but apathy is not the way my Holocaust survivor parents raised me, so I walked into the village armed with a telephoto lens.

As a photojournalist I am trained to immerse myself upon a scene with a wide angle, to become part of the action, even if peripherally.

However, we are in the midst of a COVID pandemic, and no longer a spring chicken, and still mourning and fearful of losses, I donned mask and long lens, to venture into my cozy village.

There I’ve blissfully photographed swans, ducklings, blossoms and Full Flower moons rising above the movie theater’s stopped Charlie Chaplin clock.

But on Sunday I needed to document these images, of which, the most striking and telling are the children.

As a teacher I know that they witness and recall our foibles and fortunately on this day Monroe was host to hundreds of peaceful, enlightened, organized citizens protesting in solidarity, and with the support of law enforcement.

May their future be the change America now seeks.


Judy Ronay