Sunday, June 27, 2010
Tip#368: Face the Shock of Violence – G20 Summit Toronto - Watchmen
It's been a shocking week in my hometown of Toronto. On Wednesday a 5.8 earthquake shook up homes and businesses while later that evening a tornado touched down north of the city. And now with G20 Summit happening as I write this violent protests have altered the streets of my own neighbourhood.
I was in right place at right time with my camera yesterday and was able to document the burning of a police car. Later I photographed standoffs between crowds and police in riot gear at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. It would last for hours while other forms of destruction happened all over Toronto.
More photos of police car on fire: Click here
More photos of police in riot gear move in: Click here
Witnessing the events shook me up and I felt emotional seeing my own streets in ways I have never seen before. I did wish I were a superhero who could help bring peace like Iron Man, Spider-Man or even one of the Watchmen.
The movie Watchmen takes place in an alternate 1985 where superheroes were used to help crowd control and even employed by the government to end wars. There is a scene where Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) and Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) fly into a protest to bring order. They do it quickly and with no casualties.
It would be amazing if there could be third party interventions like in the world of superheroes. For now we all have to make our own decisions on how we can make a positive difference with the violence we witness. Mine is to document what I am witnessing and let my photos tell the story.
Witnessing violence or forms of crisis stirs up emotions and those feelings need to be expressed. If you find yourself in this situation do your best to face what comes up inside you. Release what you are feeling like in writing, photography or even in discussion. Whatever you express can have so much power in itself.
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© Emmanuel Lopez 2010