Everyone is talking about their best photo of 2011. I thought I'd talk about the best photo I think I ever took.
Few people remember, but most Americans opposed the First Gulf War. I think there were a variety of underlying sentiments, among them the feeling that it was time we stopped depending so much on oil, the feeling that we had no business dying for oil companies, and that we didn’t want another Vietnam war in which Americans might die and die and die and innocent civilians be killed, too.
On January 19, 1991, tens of thousands of Californians assembled in San Francisco for a march against the war. I was among these. I brought my camera along. As we marched, I looked around at the people marching alongside us. A peace march is rarely a neat and orderly thing. First, there is the traditional argument between the most radical elements — in this case, the Revolutionary Communist Party — and the organizers. The RCP always wants to claim the march was its idea.
Second, there is the rate at which people march. Some people walk fast and others walk slow. If you don’t like the pace of the people in front of you, you just go around them. Given that I was with a crew that included elderly people and young people, I had thrown in my lot with the slow. This gave me the chance to capture the faces of some of those who came around us.
This fellow was one of them.
What does your best lifetime analog look like?