Friday, March 16, 2012

My Photos Featured on Africa is a Country

Yesterday I was honored to have the opportunity to help the excellent media blog Africa is a Country inaugurate a new photographic feature on their website. The new weekly feature allows selected photographers with content from African countries to choose and describe their five favorite images that they've taken. It was important to me to choose images with depth that represent more than bare aesthetics and so I agonized over the perfect five. Here is how I described the theme of my images:

In my photographic work I seek to document social transformation. My images depict the intersection of various influences on people and their environments; the traditional; the contemporary; the local; and the foreign. I document how the creative amalgamation of those influences produces new social contexts that are each unique. As active participants in what could be called social remixing, the subjects of my images challenge assumptions of static, shallow, generalized culture.


In the end my five photos were these:







Go to africasacountry.com to read background information on each image. And of course visit zacharyrosen.com to see even more of my photographs from West and Southern Africa.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Signs of Protest



Indeed, this is what democracy looks like. On Saturday March 10th 2012, a rally was held at the Wisconsin State capitol in downtown Madison to mark one year since a state bill was passed by the administration of Governor Scott Walker that limited the collective bargaining rights of state workers. Citizens of all demographics came out en masse for the peaceful rally to demonstrate their disgust with Walkers arrogance in promoting divisive policies that favor corporate executives and leave school teachers high and dry.

I biked down to the protest with multiple aims:
To share my discontent for the dubious direction Walker had taken my home state.
To make up for the missing the historic Madison protests of 2011 while I was in Lesotho.
To support my parents who are both educators that saw their benefits cut as a result of Walker's policies
And to take photos of more incredible history in the making.

It has been depressing to observe Wisconsin's economic decline over the last few years, but I was proud of what I witnessed at the protest as I clicked my shutter. I hope that since the recent effort to recall Governor Walker garnered over 1 million signatures change is in the air and Wisconsin will soon move forward once again.

At least 35,000 people protested at the State Capitol on Saturday, though some reports put the figure at more than 60,000. Below are some of my photos from the event, with special attention paid the creative signs that were thrust in the air along with clenched fists in a sea of dissent. I'm usually quite selective when sharing my images, but here I figure, the more the merrier.

Click on any photo to enter slideshow mode.
























































The lone Walker supporter, who spent most of the day standing in the shadows of much larger anti-Walker signs.



All photographs copyright of Zachary Rosen 2012