Finding strength and calm amid the protests

© 2017 Arpita Upadhyaya

I took this shot soon after an intense period of rioting and police activity near Mc Pherson square. The crowd had quietened down after the scare bombs, burning  trash, people running from the police, and there was an eerie calmness.

A large group of protestors quietly confronted a line of police with a few people pacing up and down. I was struck by the conflicted looks of defiance and resignation among the people, and a sense of something imminent, something unknown.

Everything seemed different on that day in D.C. I walked among the group of peaceful protestors trying to capture peoples’ expressions and emotions and to get a sense of what people were experiencing. I spotted this woman, with her striking hair, observing the people around her and the police line in front of her with a sense of supreme calmness.

I quietly made my way towards her and took a few shots. I was fascinated by her expression. It seemed like she was part of the crowd but in a way, far removed from it, observing from a distance. The contrast between the immediacy and perceived hostility and strength of the police and the somewhat fragile contemplative calmness of this woman was striking. Perhaps she was trying to come to terms with the question as we all were: where are we headed? But I also sensed a strength in her, and hope for the future.

Image © 2017 Arpita Upadhyaya. You can see more of Arpita’s work on Instagram.

© 2017 Arpita Upadhyaya