Protest! 70 Years of American Resistance

February 22, 2019

Printed by Picto

A new exhibition in New York explores America’s history of protest through the work of Magnum photographers.

“Everything good about America begins with a protest.” So declares a handmade poster photographed at the Women’s March on Washington, DC, on January 21, 2017. Indeed, America itself was born of protest when in 1773 the Boston Tea Party galvanized colonial resistance to the British policy of “taxation without representation,” leading to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Over more than two centuries since, protest has defined and reshaped the landscape of American rights and justice.

USA. Atlanta, Georgia. 1963. SNCC staff sit-in at a Toddle House. © Danny Lyon
USA. Virginia. Demonstration during civil rights movement and passing of integration laws. 1960. © Eve Arnold

The show at The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery features photographs of protest from the 1940s to the present day. From street marches and consumer boycotts to civil disobedience and hashtag activism – and it emphasizes protest as a powerful form of civic engagement. Among the exhibited photographers and images, we find the picture of Cesar Chavez, leader of the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), picketing outside a farm to urge workers to join in the fight for better wages and worker’s rights, shot in 1966 by Paul Fusco; paratroopers escorting black students into Little Rock High School, in Arkansas in 1957, captured by Burt Glinn; the “March For Our Lives”, a demonstration in 2018 which attend an estimated 800,000 people calling for tighter gun control, by Mark Power; or the Women’s March by Susan Meiselas in 2017.

USA. Montgomery, Alabama. 1965. The Great Freedom March. © Bruce Davidson
USA. West Palm Beach, Fla. February 4th, 2017. Protest at Trump Plaza. © Susan Meiselas

With these images, we also remind ourselves how Magnum shares since its creation in 1947 a vision to chronicle world events, people, places and culture with a powerful narrative that defies convention, shatters the status quo, redefines history and transforms lives.

USA. Cairo, Illinois. 1962. John LEWIS, future chairman of the SNCC, and others demonstrate at the Cairo pool, which did not allow blacks. © Danny Lyon

Protest! 70 Years of American Resistance
Jan 18 – Apr 30 2019
The Laurie M. Tisch Gallery
334 Amsterdam Ave. At 76th Street
New York, NY 10023


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