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Protest! Open Access

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This project is a documentary photo and multimedia exploration of protest culture in Washington, D.C. In this city protesters gather just yards from government buildings, and sometimes even inside of them. Their chants pour through windows and echo down hallways, forcing powerful officials to reckon up-close with the demonstrators’ targeted demands. But that very proximity also changes the nature of protests – these demonstrations are often blatantly partisan.The overlapping worlds of congressional machinations and issue-based activism create a type of political protest that should be considered part of our broader, uniquely American “political theater”. In this performance the Protesters play the lead, expressing themselves creatively and emotionally. Meanwhile the Politicians, Police and Press all contribute to an ensemble performance defined by dogma, passion and frenzy. Their interactions, rooted in prevailing narratives, crescendo into political spectacle. The photos and video examine protest in Washington with a critical eye, using photojournalism and multimedia documentary techniques to include the press and police in coverage to build a greater sense of context. The research section examines the Trump Administration’s actions in putting forth draft regulations that seem to limit First Amendment expression on federal land in the capital.

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