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#ArtUnitesCbus Film & Photography Exhibition

Asia Glenn

Asia Glenn is a Columbus-based photographer whose experience includes portrait, real estate, event, sports, food and wedding photography. Her work has been featured in several exhibitions, with the most recent being Midwest Photo’s Migration Mania in 2019.

The provided photos are a subset of images that I captured during the Black Lives Matter protest in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, May 30, 2020. I elected to edit them in black and white to allow the viewer to focus on the emotional content of the images and to give the images a timeless and historic feel.

I set out for downtown with the intention of protesting and documenting the movement. To my dismay, when I arrived downtown I was met by an army of police officers. They stood strong armed with guns, pepper spray, batons, shields, horses, and the manpower of an army. The officers were violent: shooting rubber bullets, tear gas, and pepper spray at the crowd. I, along with the crowd, ran multiple times and even caught the afterwind of pepper spray, which burned my eyes. My plans to protest were derailed due to the hostile and aggressive nature of the police. I, instead, opted to solely photograph.

In my photos I captured many scenes. Police officers aggressively storming protesters. A young black man peacefully kneeling in front of a row of police officers is pepper sprayed in the eyes. A medical helper is administering first aid to a young white woman who was wounded. A black man stands on top of his car protesting with passion. Two young men shield a young woman from rubber bullets with their bike and umbrella. These stories embody the passion and pain of the protestors and the stark opposition of the officers to hear them peacefully.

The murder of George Floyd ignited national, and even global, outrage. Protests continued for weeks. This protest in Columbus was one of numerous held nationally. It was my honor to capture this moment in the Black Lives Matter movement. I hope that my work inspires people to enact change.

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