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Will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

[ by Charles Cameron — protest and arrest in Baton Rouge ]

will you won
Reuters – Jonathan Bachman

It is the stunning balletic quality of this image that catches my attention here, and gives this post a title drawn from Lewis Carroll‘s Lobster Quadrille in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

4 Responses to “Will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”

  1. Charles Cameron Says:

    The Atlantic, under the title, A Single Photo From Baton Rouge That’s Hard to Forget, presents the full photo (I’ve cropped it above given the restrictions on width of images on this blog) with commentary that includes these comments from the photographer:

    A group of demonstrators had formed a blockade—blocked Airline Highway, which runs in front of Baton Rouge Police headquarters. So law enforcement came out, consisting of several departments within Louisiana … they had come out in riot gear to clear the protestors off to the side of the road. In that attempt, they arrested three to four people as some of the demonstrators confronted the line that the police had created, but for the most part they were able to move everyone off to the side of the road.
    I had my attention on people confronting the police on the side of the road … I had turned to look over my right shoulder, I think that I had heard this women say something about she was going to be arrested, and I saw this woman, and she was standing in the first lane in that road.
    It happened quickly, but I could tell that she wasn’t going to move, and it seemed like she was making her stand. To me it seemed like: You’re going to have to come and get me. And I just thought it seemed like this was a good place to get in position and make an image, just because she was there in her dress and you have two police officers in full riot gear.
    It wasn’t very violent. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t resist, and the police didn’t drag her off.
    It’s representative of the peaceful demonstrations that have been going on down here. I understand that officers have been hurt in other cities, but down here it’s remained peaceful.

  2. Kanani Fong Says:

    Thanks for the photographer’s commentary –so often overlooked in the instantaneous sharing through social media. It is a gorgeous and moving shot –no doubt it will go down as one of the iconic shots of the decade. His career will be defined by this shot, just as Nick Ut’s was by the little girl burning from napalm.
    I love photojournalists. Seeing this one not only makes me stop and admire the restraint of all parties, but also makes me appreciate that Jonathan Bachman was in the right place at the right time.

  3. Charles Cameron Says:

    Thanks (once again), Kanani — I strongly agree.

  4. Charles Cameron Says:

    Two from Brandfon Friedman, who describes himself on his Twitter page as CEO, The McPherson Square Group; Former Dep. Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, @HUDgov; Author of The War I Always Wanted:


    I personally don’t see the DoubleQuote in that latter double image, but apparently others do. The dignity, yes.

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