Tish Lampert
 
 

The Book

                                              I Protest

                                                                                                                                                                       AUTHOR/PHOTOGRAPHER TISH LAMPERT

                                                                                                                                                                       BOOK DESIGN EMMELIA MENDIETA

 
 

For almost two decades, I have been back and forth across the United States with my camera taking the pulse of the nation. I began I Protest leading up to and after the disputed Presidential election of 2000. As people were confused and felt disenfranchised, they began to congregate. This project marks a political re-awakening of Americans exercising their right to peaceably assemble and to hold their government accountable.  My goal is to create a documentary photographic collection that follows dissent chronologically, as the culture of protest has escalated and as ongoing events continue to polarize our nation.

These photographs are a visual reminder of where we’ve been, who we are, and brings into focus our changing democracy, framing this history through the power of the printed image.

As I continue this project there is no shortage of discontent. Hard earned rights that Americans have taken for granted, for generations, are being overturned and diminished. It is my goal with this collection to engage the viewer to feel the same outrage and compassion that I have experienced on the trail. It has been a  privilege to meet those who have engaged in non violent civil disobedience and who have defended our rights, for generations. Time and time again they find the energy to get back out there and motivate the first timers. The question remains. What do we take away from these demonstrations?

Beyond the composition of the aggregate crowd shot, my intent has always been to portray the individual narrative, to capture the faces that leave us curious about their story. I continue to look for that iconic moment that we will remember as we look at our participation in activism, from year to year, to reflect on this history and perhaps identify our personal journey in relationship to these photographs.

 

 

HERE ARE EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK:

 March For Our Lives 2018

March For Our Lives 2018

Past is Prologue.

 

This chapter reminds us of the bold demonstrations that sprung up during G.W. Bush’s early presidency. The series of photos reflect old -fashioned crowd control at the dawn of the twenty- first century. 

CHAPTER ONE

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  INAUGURATION OF G.W. BUSH

INAUGURATION OF G.W. BUSH

I squirm through a crowd of hecklers reaching for an unobstructed view of George Walker Bush’s Presidential motorcade. I am too short to shoot over the sea of hands in front of me–all gesturing with their middle finger–jeering at our new president. A frigid wind ushers in a gang of pranksters who pass out pink and green Xeroxed flyers with radical buzzwords to shout out, as a prelude to their act. The masked punks take their places in a random formation around the US Navy Memorial. I am smack in the middle of an anarchist plot!
Also trapped with me is a delegation from the National Organization of Women, middle-aged women politely condemning the election. They are holding up their royal blue N.O.W. signs. The ringleader clad in black, appears from nowhere and shimmies up the flagpole! He removes the American Flag and hoists a black skull and crossbones in its place– a pyrrhic victory.
His minions are in awe of his accomplishment; could this conquest reverse the Supreme Court decision? Now the federal tactical police move in on horseback. The foot police roll in sections of a chain link fence. They ram through our congregation and confine us. The crowd panics, a riot begins. There’s no exit to escape. I take what pictures I can, impeded by pushing and shoving.
Suddenly I feel a hand slip between my legs and hoist me up over the chain-link fence. “You’ll be safe here”, the phantom kid says, “Now, take your pictures.

TISH LAMPERT

 

So for us to talk about a democracy that we are going to translate into other lands is the height of hypocrisy and is simply foolish. We don’t invent governments for other people.
GORE VIDAL

 
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VETERANS MARCHING DOWN PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE, WASHINGTON D.C. 2007

WAR WITHOUT END .....AMEN

CHAPTER TWO

 

This chapter begins in 2003 and follows six years of protests against the war in Iraq. The false claims, by the Bush Administration, that led us into war, ignited marches from coast to coast. The photographs range from average Americans protesting war, to celebrities, veterans and active duty servicemen all demanding peace. The mood is reminiscent of the early 70’s, when hundred of thousands mobilized against war.

No Justice No Peace & Land Of The Free

No Justice No Peace is witness to protests against racist police killing and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The photographs reveal emotional stories and portraits of mothers who have lost their sons. A focus is on today’s militarized crowd control. The images reflect community, and mobilized efforts to bring people together to find solutions

Land of The Free examines immigration today, in the U.S.;specifically the crisis regarding DACA, and migrant's seeking asylum, family separation and family reunions.