By Darwin Nercesian
No matter what side of the aisle your opinions reside on, I think everyone can agree that the 2016 presidential elections in America were a wild ride that brought out the best and the worst of humanity. If I could describe this past year in a single word, it would be “division”. In the days leading up to the election and following the election, I set out to cover both sides of the divide, to experience their emotions and hopefully convey share them with you through the following photographs…
One group become well-known for gathering on the Hollywood Walk of Fame to guard the remains of the star dedicated to Donald Trump which had been vandalized several times throughout the election.
Under the signs and covered by cardboard lay the remains of the vandalized star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame belonging to now President Elect Donald J. Trump.
The police remained close by, and while I visited this demonstration sight a few times, most of the hostility I witnessed towards this group was delivered verbally, although I am told that there was some spitting and that they did have things thrown at them on occasion.
Remember when I mentioned the best of humanity as well? At one point I actually saw something that did bring a smile to my face in the midst of all the division and vitriol. The Trump supporters had brought out a stereo, started to play music, and invited everyone, especially those that did not agree with them, to dance and enjoy at least a moment of unity. Guess what? That is exactly what happened!
This Trump supporter and a gentleman who vocally opposed her just moments prior shared a mutual appreciation for music and dance, followed by a few laughs and what almost looked like a veiled understanding of one another.
All things must come to an end though, and some would say that in the case of this election, that is a welcome cliche. However, in what has been expressed almost universally as a shocking finish, the election of Donald J. Trump to become the 45th President of the United States did was not without fallout. In the days to follow, many American cities experienced protests and anti-Trump demonstrations which ranged from peaceful assemblies to the burning of the President Elect in effigy, the burning of the Flag of the United States, and the forced shutdown of roads and freeways as protesters flooded the highways and impeded traffic. Thankfully, these scenes have not escalated into pandemonium, as freedom of speech and expression belongs to us all.
I hope you have enjoyed the photos and a quick look into how I experienced the days leading up to and proceeding the 2016 election, and no matter what side of the aisle you find yourself, I wish you the best in 2017 and the years to come. I think it is important to remember that while we may not always agree, we should be willing to hear each other out and stand together, hand in hand for a better future.
I leave you with with one final image. On a rare rainy day in Southern California, on my way to cover a demonstration, I came across a reflection and a symbol of togetherness. My hope is that this final image helps you decompress after reading this article and viewing these photos. Thank you and be well.
My name is Darwin Nercesian. I am an architectural photographer and independent photojournalist based in Los Angeles, CA. Please take a moment to see my website at www.dna-image.com or visit me on instagram: @dna_image
Great photojournalism,- you captured even the fast actions very well and additionally all are very well composed. A joy to look at this BW pictures, with their classical approach,- thank you very much.
Great photos, but I have to say, the subject helps alot. I live in EUR and left US in 1990, after traveling EUR for 10 years and seeing how much better it is/was. It is safer, Mostly in smaller town than large cities. Come on over and shoot here. I cover the art scene and photoscene.
My project is on: infoto-online.com
Yes sir, the subject does help quite a bit. I love Europe! We used to travel there often until our twins were born. We should resume traveling there soon as the kids are approaching 2 years. I don’t know if the grass is always greener, but I do agree that European cities have something special about them that I really enjoy as a photographer. I do miss those vacations.
Thanks for the link to your project. I am going to take a look now. All my best.
I love this set of photos and I love America.
Major thank you!
While I truly do not like injecting politics into my photo discussions, you’ve done a masterful job here of showing the two radically opposed sides. You’ve done it without obviously revealing your own political views. It’s a reporting job with feeling toward all of those that you documented. Thank you.
I permanently left two other blog sites this month when they turned politically abrasive. I thank Steve for being a photographic Switzerland during this campaign!
Thank you very much James! Yes, it was important to me to convey the emotions of the people and the situation, so I didn’t consider my personal opinion on any of it of much importance. I will say this though. I love all these people, and I hope they all find the truth, which is that if they give each other an honest look, they can all find enough common ground to unite, despite any differences. So in the end, I truly wish them all the best.
And I totally agree about Steve and his website. This is a fun place and Steve is ALWAYS such a positive influence on the community. I do not know him personally, but I guarantee he is the type of person who would be welcome in my home.
Thanks Darwin! What a reflection these and all of our election images will be years from now.
Nice work. Historic by definition. And not one word about f stops. Very nice too.
Excellent work Darwin!
The last is my standout favourite.
All the best,