Tank Man is 25.
It is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Yesterday marked 25 years since this unforgettable scene in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Here are two recollections of that time and place from Jeff Widener, the AP photographer who captured this extraordinary moment on film – and how he almost didn’t get the shot. The first is from the BBC:
And here is a link (click on the image) to Time magazine’s interview with Widener:
We call him “Tank Man” because we have never learned his name. Who was this man? What became of him? Is he even still alive – and what would he have to say about that day? About China today?
This photograph is a pure and perfect metaphor for the imbalance of power between us (Tank Man) and the State… and a poignant reminder that we are not powerless. Twenty-five years later, the world has changed in so many ways. In America, some of us fear that the State has become too powerful; others fear that government has become ineffectual against the rise of corporate power. Whatever these tanks represent to you, we should remember what Jeff Widener took away from his encounter with Tank Man’s defiance:
“All hope is not lost. You can make a stand.
You can be somebody. There is some dignity in that…
you fight for your rights.”
The End (so far)