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Comparison survey of Revolución Cubana and #BlackLivesMatter in relation to social change and graphic design

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Abstract

Social change and graphic design. Historical and contemporary comparison. Revolución Cubana (Cuban Revolution) 1953 – 1959 & Black Lives Matter Movement 2013 –.
Comparison survey of Revolución Cubana and
#BlackLivesMatter in relation to social change
and graphic design
August 23, 2017
Wayne Shih
wayne@whitecliffe.ac.nz
Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design
Te Whare Takiura o Wikiriwhi
24 Balfour Road, Auckland 1052, New Zealand
DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17501.51682/4
The following are my research slide notes, they contain unedited
direct quotes and some slight paraphrases. Please refer back to
contact sheet of slides (page 7 onwards) and original cited sources.
1
Cuban Revolution 1953 – 1959
Black Lives Matter Movement 2013 –
2
Cuban Revolution 1953 – 1959 To understand the Cuban Revolution...
3
We need to understand the conflict of US and Cuba relations. Going back to
not just the 1950s – when the revolution began – but way back to 1850s.
Back then America was divided between pro-slavery (a.k.a. Southern states)
and anti-slavery (a.k.a. Northern states) politics. They fought over the Spanish
colony of Cuba. Pro-slavery makers want to buy Cuba from Spain – or
potentially take it by force – making it a new slave state. Anti-slavery opposed
this calling it imperialism. (Vox, 2016)
4
1898, after slavery is abolished in the States. Americans have a different
version of the argument again. Now Cubans are rising up against Spain.
Argument is whether the US should seize Cuba from Spain for itself or
liberate it. The fight this time happened in Congress, each side passes laws
trying to force their way. This ended up with a weird split-baby policy. With
Cuba winning independence, but under quasi-imperial rule. US would take
over GTMO, dictate Cuba’s foreign policy, and give itself right to intervene in
Cuban affairs.
5
Then there’s a few more interventions, mostly to protect US interests, such as
sugar imports (Vox, 2016)
Over the next 20 years, Cuba became a democracy, and one generally
friendly with the US (Vox, 2016)
NB, Cuban Pacification = Second Occupation of Cuba
6
This changed in 1952, former president and military leader, Fulgencio Batista
seized power in a coup, suspends the constitution, and imposes an
increasing oppressive rile. (Vox, 2016)
7
Cuba’s Communist uprising began the following year (known as the 26th of
July Movement), led by young Fidel Castro (at age of 26 (Sinha, 2016)). US
politics was obsessed with the fears of communism, so the US backed
Batista in the war, no matter how brutal he became. For Americans this feels
like a front in the struggle against communism. For Cubans, it feels like
Batista is an extension of American imperialism. Communist won in 1959 and
Castro took power. US feeling the expansion of communism, sets up the
embargo to struggle Cuba’s economy and even tried to assassinate Castro
with CIA trained Cubans. All attempt failed. Castro turns to the Soviet for
help. (Vox, 2016)
8
From 1960s through to 1980s, Cuban graphic artists produced posters of
enormous artistic power and social impact. Under the new Castro ruling,
Cuba became a state that actively supported the arts, and a highly
centralized political apparatus anxious to consolidate power. By the time the
Soviet Union have collapsed, Cuba had produced at least 12,000 posers,
including anything from occupational health, the sugar harvest, war in Viet
Nam, glass recycling, to folk music festivals. Some were limited-edition
publicity items, but most were generated in the thousands and ended up in
union halls, community centers, school, and private residents in Cuba and
beyond. (Cushing, 2003)
9
What separates Cuban posters from its revolutionary predecessors – Soviet
Union, China, and Mexico – is its wide range of content and style. This results
from long tradition of international influence in Cuban artwork and a
revolutionary government that was relatively open to experimentation and
innovation. The Cubans managed to avoid mimicking the socialist realism
typical of Soviet and Chinese propaganda and were well on the way to
establish their own unique style. This was a highly indicator of Cuban
independence. (Cushing, 2003)
10
Most posters were produced in either offset or hand-cut silk-screen stencils,
the technical limitations of these form gives the graphic treatment on the part
of the designers. (Cushing, 2003)
11
--
12
--
13
Vast majority of Cuban posters have been produced under three agencies.
Film Commission, EP (Political Publishing), and OSPAAAL. Although each
agency developed its own area of specialization, individual artists often
created work for all three organizations. (Cushing, 2003)
ICAIC
Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográficos
Cuban Institute of Cinematic Art and Industry
EP
Editora Política
Political Publishing
OSPAAAL
Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de Asia, África y América
Latina
Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America
14
EP, the official publishing department of the Cuban Communist Party was
responsible of a wide range of domestic PSA propaganda in a wide range of
printed forms – books, DM, billboards, and posters. Other government
agencies used the resources and distribution powers of EP for their own
work. (Cushing, 2003)
15
Overt satire and subtle wit of imagery represent accepted design approaches.
This includes the tactic of fusing disparate images. (Cushing, 2003)
16
The use of weapons symbolizes the ultimate extension of political power.
Cuba still had to defend itself against armed attacks from the US and militant
members from Cuban exile communities. In addition, Cuban foreign policy
actively supports revolutionary movement around the world sending armed
troops out. (Cushing, 2003)
17
Sugar industry, one of the main Cuban exports
18
OPSAAAL, is officially NGO designation recognized under the United Nations
and based in Havana. It’s the primary source of solidarity posters produced in
Cuba and aimed at activists around the world. OPSAAAL published a monthly
magazine which included a poster. The simple act of violating the
conventional formal purity of a poster by folding it up for mailing, was the key
to what became the most effective worldwide poster distribution ever.
(Cushing, 2003)
OSPAAAL produced posters covering about 38 nations and a wide range of
subject.
19
Some were designed to take advantage of this process, presenting different
or modified images as the viewer unfolded the mailer poster, like this one. The
captions are usually in quad-lingual; Spanish, French, English, and Arabic.
(Cushing, 2003)
20
International solidarity is an important part of Cuban national culture, due to
its own long fight against foreign domination – Spain, UK, US, and less extent
the Soviets. (Cushing, 2003)
21
--
22
Cuba deeply identifies with Viet Nam, a small, poor country attempting to
overthrow a series of corrupt leaders serving the interests of a chain of foreign
masters. (Cushing, 2003)
23
--
24
Icons such as Uncle Sam, imperial eagle, dollar sign, continental shapes,
stylized flags, and axes were used as it were a commonly understood visual
shorthand to express their subjects. (Cushing, 2003)
25
The ICAIC, Cuban Film Commission, has a silk-screen workshop that is
responsible for producing posters for all films made in Cuba, as well as
foreign films screened in Cuba. All posters have identical sizes – 76 by 51
centimeters – to fit into special kiosks throughout Havana and other cities.
Since film screenings were already well attended (both before and after the
revolution), the posters itself were less of an advertising material but more of
an opportunity to present an Cuban slant on a film’s subject. (Cushing, 2003)
26
--
27
--
28
--
29
--
30
This Oscar nominated film is the story of two men who are opposites, one
gay, the other straight, one a fierce communist, the other a fierce individualist,
one suspicious, the other accepting, and how they come to love each other.
(IMDB, 2017)
31
And of course there were smaller publishers, such as Casa de las Américas
which was established to develop and extend relations between Latin
American countries and the rest of the world. Verde Olivo, translates to olive
green, was the military’s publication. And ICAP, Cuban Institute for Friendship
with the Peoples, acting as a NGO diplomatic mission.
32
Last year, Obama lifted Cuba’s embargo. For the first time in 57 years
resumed diplomatic and economic relations, and the first head of state from
the US to visit Cuba in 88 years.
33
Black Lives Matter Movement 2013 – .
The Black Lives Matter movement is relatively new, and for some, the
concept is new, but the need for the movement is rooted in almost 400 years
of history. (Hoffman, Granger, Vallejos & Moats, 2016)
#BLM: Trayvon Martin
Blue Lives Matter; countermovement in response to Black Lives Matter
It was started after the killings of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian
Liu in Brooklyn, New York, on December 20, 2014, after they were ambushed
in their patrol car.
34
#BlackLivesMatter (BLM) on social media started on 13th of July 2013, when
George Zimmerman – neighborhood watch – was acquitted of the murder of
Trayvon Martin. After the verdict was released, BLM first appeared on
Facebook, since then, BLM has become an ubiquitous presence in the
American culture. (Ince, Rojas & Davis, 2017)
35
Unlike print or broadcast media, platforms such as Twitter encourages
individuals to generate their own “content”, which other users can discuss or
link to. Thus, social media, by its nature, is a decentralized method for
creating and dissecting ideas. The user driven content and decentralization
properties make social media appealing to movements. (Ince, Rojas & Davis,
2017)
36
Selection of BLM protests over the years
37
Contrasting from the Cuban Revolution posters, the invention of
photocopiers, laser printers, and desktop publishing software reduced the
cost of printing considerable and democratized the possibility to print and
reproduce texts even further. (Cammaerts, Decillia & Zurn, 2017)
38
--
39
Handwritten signs
40
--
41
Through photography and video, art protest artifacts can be produced. This,
in combination with the importance affordance to construct a digital archive
of protest performances, can influence future movements or activists.
Activists started using this Internet-mediated tactic to organize protests,
which Rheingold descried as “smart mobs”. As a performative protest event,
the smart mob only makes sense if it is recorded and uploaded, thus
contributing to an ever growing archive of protest artifacts available online.
(Cammaerts, Decillia & Zurn, 2017)
42
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Jeronimo Yanez,
a St. Anthony, Minnesota, police officer, after being pulled over in Falcon
Heights, a suburb of Saint Paul. Castile was in a car with his girlfriend,
Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter when he was pulled over
by Yanez and another officer.
The shooting achieved a high profile from a live-streamed video
on Facebook made by Diamond Reynolds in the immediate aftermath of the
shooting. It shows her interacting with the armed officer as a mortally injured
Castile lies slumped over, moaning slightly and his left arm and side
bloody. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office said he had
sustained multiple gunshot wounds and reported that Castile died at
9:37 p.m. CDT in the emergency room of the Hennepin County Medical
Center, about 20 minutes after being shot.
According to Reynolds' testimony and a police dashcam, Castile told the
officer he had a firearm and had one hand in his pants pocket after being
asked for his license and registration. Reynolds said Castile was shot while
reaching for his ID after telling Yanez he was armed. The officer shot at
Castile seven times.
Yanez was acquitted of all charges on June 16, 2017. The same day, he
was fired by the City of Saint Anthony.
43
--
44
--
45
--
46
--
47
--
48
Both times – the night of the shooting last year and the night of the verdict
which found the officer not guilty of all charges – protesters gathered at the I-
94 motorway within hours through social media, predominantly Twitter.
49
--
50
--
51
The following day, multiple protests sprung across the country. This
demonstration was in front of the White House in DC.
52
--
53
--
54
Even though print technology has improved significantly. Protestors and
activists still simply use a sharpie on a cardboard.
The shift in protest or revolutionary posters is now changed from attention
grabbing and thought provoking to a call for help and a form of personal
expression.
Contemporary protest movements, which are distinguished from historic
movements by relying on decentralized leadership and utilizing social media
and technology, have a central role in addressing social justice issues.
(Hoffman, Granger, Vallejos & Moats, 2016) With technological innovations
and the increased accessibility of cell phones, most youth in the US can tap
into discourse on public media almost anywhere, anytime. Rather than
needing to set aside time to engage in national and transnational
conversations about race and oppression, increased access to the internet
and the ability to read and contribute to discourse on social media via one’s
cell phone allows youth to integrate this participation in the public sphere into
their daily activities. (Carney, 2016)
55
A designer’s role in social justice movements is no longer relegated to
drawing protest posters. Designers can create digital tools and data
visualizations that help shape and mobilize a cause. They can use visual
communication to connect people across the country, orchestrate action, and
inspire policy changes. (Millter, 2016)
Revolución Cubana
1953 1959
#BlackLivesMatter
2013 –
1
Revolución Cubana
26 July 1953
2
3
4
Revolución Cubana
26 July 1953
1 Jan 1959
Movimiento 26 de Julio
Fidel Castro
República de Cuba
Fulgencio Batista
Revolución Cubana
26 July 1953 1 January 1959
1952
Cuban Pacification
1906
1909
Sugar Intervention
1917
1922
5
6
7
Offset press at EP’s Taller Abel Santamaria,
Havana (
, 1989)
René Mederos
1959 1969 Tenth Anniversary of
the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
1969
EP (COR)
790 x 500 mm
offset
Photo on the wall of a pharmacy in Havana
(O’Hara , 1986)
8
9
10
Offset press at EP’s Taller Abel Santamaria,
Havana (
, 1989)
René Mederos
1959 1969 Tenth Anniversary of
the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution
1969
EP (COR)
790 x 500 mm
offset
Photo on the wall of a pharmacy in Havana
(O’Hara , 1986)
EP’s silk screen production
facility
(
, 1989)
Inks at EP’s silk screen
shop
(
, 1989)
11
12
13
Faustino Pérez
30th Anniversary of the
Moncada
1983
EP (DOR)
750 x 500 mm
offset
Faustino Pérez
Knife to the Beef; Be Careful
1971
EP (COR)
550 x 440 mm
silk screen
Faustino Pérez
Save It
1983
EP (for
Poder
Popular)
770 x 520 mm
silk screen
14
15
16
Faustino Pérez
30th Anniversary of the
Moncada
1983
EP (DOR)
750 x 500 mm
offset
Faustino Pérez
Knife to the Beef; Be Careful
1971
EP (COR)
550 x 440 mm
silk screen
Faustino Pérez
Save It
1983
EP (for
Poder
Popular)
770 x 520 mm
silk screen
Elena Serrano
Day of the Heroic Guerrilla
Continental
Che
1968
OSPAAL
500 x 330 mm
silk screen & offset
Alfrédo
Rostgaard
Santo Domingo: 1965
1970
OSPAAL
520 x 310 mm
offset
Gladys Acosta
Cut Until the Last Cane
1971
EP (COR)
590 x 390 mm
offset
17
18
19
Erneston
Padrón
Together with Viet Nam
1971
OSPAAL
540 x 330 mm
offset
Alfrédo
Rostgaard
Day of Solidarity with the Congo
Patrice Lumumba
1972
OSPAAL
530 x 330 mm
offset
Asela
Pérez
International Week of Solidarity with Latin America
1970
OSPAAL
530 x 330 mm
silk screen
20
21
22
Erneston
Padrón
Together with Viet Nam
1971
OSPAAL
540 x 330 mm
offset
Alfrédo
Rostgaard
Day of Solidarity with the Congo
Patrice Lumumba
1972
OSPAAL
530 x 330 mm
offset
Asela
Pérez
International Week of Solidarity with Latin America
1970
OSPAAL
530 x 330 mm
silk screen
Antonio
Reboiro
Moby Dick
1968
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
Victor Manuel Navarrete
World Solidarity with the Cuban Revolution
1980
OSPAAL
750 x 510 mm
offset
Erneston
Garcia Peña
The Chilean People Will Smash Fascism
Salvador Allende
1976
OSPAAL
680 x 410 mm
offset
23
24
25
Julio Eloy
Mesa
Retrospective of Chicano Cinematography
1979
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
Alfrédo
Rostgaard
ICAIC Tenth Anniversary
1969
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
René
Azcuy
The Kid
1975
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
26
27
28
Julio Eloy
Mesa
Retrospective of Chicano Cinematography
1979
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
Alfrédo
Rostgaard
ICAIC Tenth Anniversary
1969
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
René
Azcuy
The Kid
1975
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
*
nomen
nescio
Strawberry and Chocolate
1993
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
Fernández
Reboriro
1000 Cuban Film Posters
1979
ICAIC
760 x 510 mm
silk screen
29
30
31
Trayvon Martin FMU
Posth
.
BAvn
(Fulton, 2009)
Trayvon
Martin
5 Feb 1995
26 Feb 2012
Black Lives Matter
#
BlackLivesMatter
LPD, DOJ
Blue Lives Matter (Dec ’14
)
Black Lives Matter Movement
c.13 July 2013
present
32
33
34
Trayvon Martin FMU
Posth
.
BAvn
(Fulton, 2009)
Trayvon
Martin
5 Feb 1995
26 Feb 2012
Black Lives Matter
#
BlackLivesMatter
LPD, DOJ
Blue Lives Matter (Dec ’14
)
Black Lives Matter Movement
c.13 July 2013
present
Millenium
Park, Chicago, IL (
Ilio
, 2016)
Baton Rouge, LA (Williams, 2015)
35
36
37
SoHo, NY (
McGreal
, 2014)
Greenwich Village, NY (
Higby
, 2014)
Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC (J, 2014)
38
39
40
SoHo, NY (
McGreal
, 2014)
Greenwich Village, NY (
Higby
, 2014)
Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC (J, 2014)
Investigators search a car at the
scene (
Navidi
, AP, 2016)
I
-
94
Philando
Castile Protests
July 6,
2016
June
16, 2017
10pm: Smoke rounds I
-
94 eastbound Dale St
offramp
(
Rathbun
, Pioneer Press, 2016)
New York, NY (
Saitta
, 2014)
41
42
43
Protesters hang signs on a post near the scene of the
shooting (Leila, AP, 2016)
A woman joins others at the
scene (
Navidi
, AP, 2016)
A crowd gathers at the scene of the shooting in Falcon
Heights (
Navidi
, AP, 2016)
44
45
46
Protesters hang signs on a post near the scene of the
shooting (Leila, AP, 2016)
A woman joins others at the
scene (
Navidi
, AP, 2016)
A crowd gathers at the scene of the shooting in Falcon
Heights (
Navidi
, AP, 2016)
I
-
94 Falcon Heights
Protesters (
Botsford
, The Washington Post, 2016)
Screenshots from Twitter (2016, 17) *NZST,
-
17hr for CDT
Makeshift memorial (
Borsford
, The Washington Post, 2016)
47
48
49
Washington DC (Joseph, The Washington Post, 2016)
Arykah
Bradford, White House demonstration (Lee, The Washington Post, 2016)
Protesters
in
front of
governor's
residence in St. Paul (
Lassig
, European
Pressphoto
Agency, 2016)
50
51
52
Washington DC (Joseph, The Washington Post, 2016)
Arykah
Bradford, White House demonstration (Lee, The Washington Post, 2016)
Protesters
in
front of
governor's
residence in St. Paul (
Lassig
, European
Pressphoto
Agency, 2016)
Melissa
Caffrey
left
, White House demonstration (Lee, The Washington Post, 2016)
Washington, DC (Joseph, The
Washington
Post, 2016)
53
54
55
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Rivadulla's revolutionary poster art avoids socialist cliché. (J. Walters, Ed.)
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Matter. Commentary, 142(5), 20. Noland, W. (2004, Winter). Cuban Stories.
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Rössler, Ed.) The International Encyclopedia of Media Effects, II, 447-465.
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(113), 109-110. Cushing, L. (2003). Revolución! : Cuban poster art. San
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Focused on Political Propoganda and Social Protest Poster [abstract]. Journal of
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
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This article demonstrates the ways in which youth of color played an active role in debates that erupted on Twitter following the tragic deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner in 2014. These debates on social media represent a larger struggle over discourse on race and racism across the nation. Drawing from critical theory and race theory, and engaging in the relatively new practice of using Twitter as a source of data for sociological analysis, this article examines Twitter as an emerging public sphere and studies the hashtags “#AllLivesMatter” and “#BlackLivesMatter” as contested signs that represent dominant ideologies. This article consists of a qualitative textual analysis of a selection of Twitter posts from December 3 to 7, 2014, following the nonindictments of officers in the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The debates on Twitter reveal various strategies that youth of color employed to shape the national discourse about race in the wake of these high-profile tragedies.
Article
Cuba's Biblioteca Nacional José Martí houses a collection of Revolutionary graphic political posters that have generated international interest for their unique artistic style and controversial messages. Since the onset of the “Special Period,” a time of extreme economic hardship, librarians and archivists have tried to maintain the collection under less-than-ideal conditions. While library staff does not lack knowledge, energy, and dedication, the preservation situation at the BNJM remains grim. However, digitization of the poster collection can be used as a way to hedge against current deterioration and possible damage to or destruction of the collection during an episode of political change.
White House demonstration
  • Arykah Bradford
Arykah Bradford, White House demonstration (Lee, The Washington Post, 2016)
The social media response to Black Lives Matter: how Twitter users interact with Black Lives Matter through hastag use. Ethic and Racial Studies
  • K Churchwell
  • L Cushing
  • J Harris
  • M Fisher
  • L Hoffman
  • N Granger
  • L Vallejos
  • M Moats
  • J Ince
  • F Rojas
  • C Davis
Churchwell, K. (2015, November 24). Black Lives Do Matter. Circulations (113), 109-110. Cushing, L. (2003). Revolución! : Cuban poster art. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. Harris, J., & Fisher, M. (2016, April 12). A brief history of America and Cuba. (Vox) Retrieved from https://youtu.be/ chYBlArm9Ao Hoffman, L., Granger, N., Vallejos, L., & Moats, M. (2017, November 1). An Existential-Humanistic Perspective on Black Lives Matter and Contemporary Protest Movements. Journal of Humanistic Psycology, 56(6), 595-611. Ince, J., Rojas, F., & Davis, C. (2017, July 6). The social media response to Black Lives Matter: how Twitter users interact with Black Lives Matter through hastag use. Ethic and Racial Studies, 40(11), 1814-1830. Kang, T. (2014). Analysis of Styles and Characteristics in Poster Advertising Design: Focused on Political Propoganda and Social Protest Poster [abstract]. Journal of
Prototype propagandist: Rivadulla's revolutionary poster art avoids socialist cliché
  • J Lehrer
  • D Caitlin
  • W Noland
Digital Design, 14(1). Lehrer, J., & Caitlin, D. (2001, March/April). Cuba Libre. Print, 55(2), 14. Middendrop, J. (2008, Summer). Prototype propagandist: Rivadulla's revolutionary poster art avoids socialist cliché. (J. Walters, Ed.) Eye(68), 21. Muravchik, J. (2016, December). The Truth About Black Lives Matter. Commentary, 142(5), 20. Noland, W. (2004, Winter). Cuban Stories. South Atlantic Quarterly, 103.1, 61-79. Rivadulla, E. (2000, Summer). The Film Poster in Cuba: 1940-1959. Design Issues, 16(2), 36-44. Robinson, W. (2009, January). Cuba! Cuba! Cuba! Latin American Perspectives, 36(164), 134-135. Rodine-Turner, J. (2017, April/June). Black Lives Matter. Skipping Stones, 29(2), 21. Sinha, S. (2016, November 26). Castro's Revolution, Illustrated. (The New York Times) Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/ interactive/2016/ 11/26/ world/americas/fidel-castro-cuban-posters.html Stanley, A. (2016, October). We used social media to start a rally. Seventeen, 75(10), 28. Tselentis, J. (2014, October). The Cuban Design (Re)evolution! Print, 68(5), 34-43. Ward, S. (2005). A Revolution in Preservation: digitizing political posters at the National Library of Cuba. IFLA Journal, 31(3), 260-267.
Investigators search a car at the scene (Navidi
Investigators search a car at the scene (Navidi, AP, 2016)
White House demonstration (Lee
  • Melissa Caffrey
Melissa Caffrey left, White House demonstration (Lee, The Washington Post, 2016) Washington, DC (Joseph, The Washington Post, 2016)