Protest! is a photographic and multimedia exploration of protest culture in Washington, D.C. In this city protesters gather just yards from government buildings, and sometimes even inside of them. Their chants pour through windows and echo down hallways, forcing powerful officials to reckon up-close with the demonstrators’ targeted demands. But that very proximity also changes the nature of protests – these demonstrations are often blatantly partisan.
The overlapping worlds of congressional machinations and issue-based activism create a type of political protest that should be considered part of our broader, uniquely American “political theater”. In this performance the Protesters play the lead, expressing themselves creatively and emotionally. Meanwhile the Politicians, Police and Press all contribute to an ensemble performance defined by dogma, passion and frenzy. Their interactions, rooted in prevailing narratives, crescendo into political spectacle.