Showing posts with label America photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label America photography. Show all posts

Flower Power (anti-war )

The image of the Flower-in-the Rifle-Guy, photographed at a Pentagon ‘Levitation Rally’ in 1967, has become one of the most iconic anti-war images of our time. The young man’s real name is George Harris, an eighteen-year-old actor from New York who got swept up in the real life drama of his time, the Vietnam War.

This photo, titled Flower Power by Washington Star photographer Bernie Boston, was nominated for the 1967 Pulitzer Prize.
Sartorially speaking, not only did Harris choose his turtle-neck sweater well, but his carefully placed carnation, deep in the loaded barrel of a Military Policeman’s rifle, had a kind of daring panache that any A-list stylist, then or now, would be proud of. This simple act of defiance was a brilliantly staged peace tactic, taking both the military and the media by surprise. This was Flower Power in action.
Before the idea of ”Flower Power” became synonymous with psychedelic drugs, promiscuous sex and hippies, it was a phrase coined by Beat poet Allen Ginsberg to describe a political movement of passive, non-violent protest. In his November 1965 essay, “How to Make a March/Spectacle”, Ginsberg advocated that protesters should be provided with “masses of flowers” to hand out to policemen, press, politicians and spectators.The use of props like flowers, toys, flags, candy and music were meant to transform anti-war rallies into a form of street theatre, thereby reducing the fear, anger and threat inherent to protests.

"The cry of 'Flower Power' echoes through the land. We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom." Abbie Hoffman, Workshop in Nonviolence, May 1967

Seventeen-year-old high school student Jan Rose Kasmir clasping a daisy and gazing at bayonet-wielding soldiers. Image by French photojournalist Marc Riboud

The Harvard Hallucinogen, Dr. Timothy Leary, experimenting with flowers in his hair.

In particular, Ginsberg wanted to counter the “spectre” of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang who not only supported the Vietnam War, but equated war protesters with communists and lazy good-for-nothing bums. Today, people with views like these are part of a gang called Republicans. A word of caution for young people with strong ideals and style: Be careful when poking daisies in the face of heavily armed policemen. In 2012, you’ll be dubbed a terrorist and punched to the ground by several large law enforcers. Worse still, you’ll get tazed in the groin!
George Harrison (not to be confused with George Harris) could write a decent peace song.
Janis Joplin drove a flower powered Mercedes Benz to Woodstock.

We at Unique Creatures have no specific advice on this matter, but we suspect the answer lies in using creativity and boldness in some small, but powerful way. Here’s how some ordinary people were expressing their creativity and boldness in 1967: A guy called Jimi Hendrix used his guitar to mesmerize millions of people into making love and peacing out. A dude called Evel Knievel got angry and jumped over 16 cars on his motorcycle, proving it’s better to be Evel than Evil. And a band called The Beatles released an album called “Magical Mystery Tour,” inspiring millions to go seek…magic and mystery.

Justine Reyes

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Justine Reyes is a winner in this year’s Photo District News 30 (an emerging photographers contest), a recipient of multiple grants, awards and artist residencies. Her solo show at the Homefront Gallery in New York’s Long Island City neighborhood opened on Nov. 12. Ms. Reyes describes herself as a sentimental person, but she doesn’t shy away from tough topics like aging and death. Earlier projects, such as “Vanitas,” have been still lives including objects from her family’s history. Her current show consists of images culled from a long-term project photographing the members of her family.

Ms. Reyes: “I’ve spent the past seven years photographing my immediate family (my mother and two uncles) at home. After the death of my uncle Vinnie, I booked a trip for my mother, Uncle Al and myself to Bermuda as a way to allay some of our grief. Since then we have traveled to Spain, Italy and Australia together. “Home, Away from Home” combines the photographs I take of my mom and uncle at home, with pictures of them in hotel rooms around the world. After my uncle Vinnie’s death I began focusing more on their fragility—my uncle Al’s broken nose or my mom injured from a fall. The pictures of them at home are laden with my own fear of loss and grapple with the realization of my parents’ mortality and the inevitability of their death.”

Simone Lueck

           Cuba TV

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Robert Frank

Without question, Robert Frank’s The Americans is one of the most influential series of photographs of the postwar era. 

Robert Frank& Allen Ginsberg