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In the Midst of the Protesters in New York, I Saw An Image of the Coming Changes

From the pandemic to the anti-racism protests: what's happening in and around us? Getting a sense of it from the snapshots of an Italian photographer in NYC

by Federica Carlet

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An image from the recent protests in New York (Photo Federica Carlet)

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An image from the recent protests in New York (Photo Federica Carlet)

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Le proteste a New York (Foto di Federica Carlet)

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Le proteste a New York (Foto di Federica Carlet)

Proteste a New York (Foto di Federica Carlet)

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Proteste a New York (Foto di Federica Carlet)

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Foto di Federica Carlet

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Foto di Federica Carlet

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In Italiano

I was at home, where I have been for most of my time from the end of February until today, when watching the news, I learned of the murder of George Floyd, a black man from Minnesota, killed by a white police officer. The video revealed a police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds while the other officers do nothing to stop him. 

Given the absurdity of that injustice, it was just too difficult for me to watch. It wasn’t until one or two days later that I found the courage to watch; I cried, and cried continuously for days thinking back to that brutality. In my sorrow and desire to learn more, I began to educate myself on the countless number of tragedies like these that have occurred. 

Anti-Racism protest in New York (Ph. Federica Carlet)

I started to watch videos that showed so much unjustified violence that surround us every day, and how many times that violence is directed towards black people.

The first protest I attended took place in Union Square on May 31. I hesitated until the last moment for fear of Covid-19 and honestly because I feared that something unpleasant and dangerous might happen. Notwithstanding, I was happy to be part of the demonstration which was absolutely peaceful and moving. It was touching to witness the will of people who were there for change, no matter what race or color. Loud and clear was the message of love and union that was palpable. So much so that I became overwhelmed with passion to do right and fight for the absolute need for change. I felt the common desire to live in a world without injustice.

Anti-Racism protest in New York (Photo Federica Carlet)

There was so much at stake that I find it difficult to describe all that my eyes have seen, all that my ears have heard and all that my heart has felt.

The anger and frustration of many, mixed with the love and willpower that everyone exhibited was touching to see…all for change.

I saw flowers in tight fists facing the sky.

I saw proud and angry looks, while others were sad and tired, full of tears.

I saw a large, supportive community. I saw the beginning of this change…..

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