Look Closer is a photo series by OZY that encourages readers to see beyond a seemingly normal photo. Hover over the circles to explore the photo more deeply.
Police officers stand near August Kranti Maidan, the venue of a major protest in Mumbai.
Protestors march in Mumbai against the new citizenship law, holding banners that accuse the government of turning Muslims into second-class citizens.
A Muslim woman at the Mumbai protest holds a placard arguing that accepting the law would be equivalent to embracing bigotry.
Many critics have compared India’s new legislation to the Nuremberg laws used by the Nazis against Jews. Here, a protestor draws that comparison with a placard bearing an image of Adolf Hitler.
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They’re laughing and chatting, seemingly at ease. These cops are on a break. Or are they?
In reality, they’re part of a massive security clampdown spanning major Indian cities including New Delhi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Aligarh and Mumbai, amid some of the largest protests the country has seen in recent years.
Led by students, protestors are demanding the rollback of a controversial new law that introduced a religious test for citizenship by naturalization in what critics say is a violation of India’s secular constitution. Under the law, passed by Parliament last week, illegal Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Zoroastrian migrants fleeing religious persecution in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh can get citizenship — but Muslim refugees also victimized in these and other neighboring countries cannot.
Separately, the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced plans for a National Register of Citizens that will be used to identify, detain and deport all those who can’t prove Indian citizenship or ancestry. Many in India fear that together, the law and the citizenship register would allow the government to specifically evict or jail Muslims without adequate documentation — while allowing all others to stay even if they can’t prove they’re Indian.
The protests that have roiled India this week have descended into violence, with the police entering university campuses, lobbing tear gas shells into libraries and thrashing students — all caught on video. But the ranks of protesters have only swelled further, with campus after campus across the nation breaking into marches and rallies against the government. Teachers, writers, historians, homemakers, Bollywood stars and retired people have joined them, many facing arrest in the process.
Photographs by Viraj Nayar for OZY
Look Closer: Cops Taking a Break or ...
Look Closer is a new photo series by OZY that encourages readers to see beyond a seemingly normal photo. Hover over the circles to explore the photo more deeply.
The idea for the quilt was hatched by activist Cleve Jones during the candlelight march in remembrance of the 1978 assassinations of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
There were more than 44,000 individual panels in the quilt, weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
The first display of the quilt was in 1987, in Washington, D.C., and it was displayed again in 1996 to be visited by President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was shown again at the time of the XIX International AIDS Conference in 2012.
The quilt was often the only opportunity survivors had to remember and honor the lives of their loved ones. Many who died of AIDS-related illnesses didn’t have funerals because of the social stigma early on. In fact, some funeral homes and cemeteries even refused to accept the bodies of the deceased.
This could be Washingtonians standing beside a giant board game on the National Mall. But look beyond a glance and you’ll see that the spectators are gathered around the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on a crisp October day in 1996. The expansive, colorful AIDS Memorial Quilt — with more than 44,000 panels weighing over 10,000 pounds — was designed to be an eye-catching tool for a national prevention campaign that portrayed the humanity behind the statistics. The idea for the project was hatched in 1985 by activist Cleve Jones and other volunteers during a candlelight march in remembrance of the 1978 assassinations of San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
In more ways than one, 1996 was an inflection point. It was the first year since the epidemic started that saw the AIDS incidence rate and deaths decline. In the same year, Time magazine Man of the Year was granted to AIDS researcher Dr. David Ho. The doctor was a pioneer in the use of drug “cocktails,” or combinations, to fight the virus. At the time, 23 million people worldwide were estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 6 million people had already died.
“When the history of this era is written, it is likely that the men and women who turned the tide on AIDS will be seen as true heroes of the age,” Time wrote about Dr. Ho. By 2017, more than two decades later, nearly 37 million people had HIV/AIDS worldwide, according to UNAIDS.
Today, remembrance and commitment to LGBTQ rights are no less pressing. Pride Month, which commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969 in Manhattan, is simultaneously a time for resistance and celebration. Among those both within and outside the LGBTQ community, this month evokes an intentional remembrance of decades of hard-fought progress that LGBTQ activists have made in demanding equal rights in American society. At the same time, it’s a reminder that democracy requires the active participation of all — and that the battle for equality is neither over nor won.
Photograph by Shayna Brennan/AP
Look Closer: Rugs, Giant Board Game, or Something Far More Poignant?
By Charu Sudan Kasturi