The Art of Protest

Two photographs. No (?) connection. Welcome to senseless/nameless sets.

Photo #1 is by far the most dull protest photograph I’ve seen in quite some time. If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought that they protested against increasing chewing gum or maybe cigarette prices, or something like that. Anyways, protests are good, like in photo #2.

"Revolutions are the locomotives of history." (probably by Karl Marx)

Ok, to be serious: to create an atmosphere within a country that a) allows peaceful protests as in photo #1 and b) taking the matters of protesters serious, that’s what it’s all about I guess. But I’m just dreaming again…

Mondadori / Getty, May 30, 1968, Protests in Paris:
On May 30 1968, almost 500,000 protesters marched through Paris chanting, ‘Adieu, de Gaulle!’. At 2.30pm, Prime Minister Georges Pompidou persuaded President Charles de Gaulle to dissolve the National Assembly and to call a new election, thereby ending the immediate threat of revolution. CAPTION: "Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the Franco-German agitator and student of Sociology at the Narbonne University (today: Co-president of the European Greens), with protestors who are shouting slogans during a demonstration in Paris." (+)
#2: Paul Schutzer, 1958, Demonstrators attacking Richard M. Nixon in his car, Caracas, Venezuela

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Unknown photographer / Getty Images, 1947, Kon Tiki

The Kon Tiki was named after a legendary seafaring sun-king common to both the old Inca kingdom and the islands of Polynesia.

In this photograph, a lone figure, possibly Thor Heyerdahl, perches on the mast of the Kon Tiki. He sailed the balsa wood raft with five fellow adventurers from Peru to Polynesia in 1947, in an attempt to prove that prehistoric South American seafarers could have made the same journey.

© Catherine Henriette / AFP / Getty Images, May 18, 1989, Tiananmen Square

Students from Beijing University stage a huge demonstration in Tiananmen Square as they start an unlimited hunger strike as the part of mass pro-democracy protest against the Chinese government.

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They had fame, reams of money and fans willing to do wild, unmentionable things just to breathe the same air — but in its September 24, 1971 issue, LIFE magazine illustrated a different side of the lives of rock stars. Like other mere mortals, they often came from humble backgrounds, with moms and dads who bragged about them, fussed over them, called them on their nonsense and worried about them every single day.  Assigned to take portraits of the artists at home with their sweetly square folks, photographer John Olson traveled from the suburbs of London to Brooklyn to the Bay Area, capturing in his work the love that bridged any cultural and generational divides that existed between his subjects.

Unlike the other stars featured in LIFE’s story, the Jackson brothers — Michael, Marlon, Tito, Jermaine and Jackie — experienced fame as kids, and still lived with their parents (father/manager Joe and mother Katherine). At the time of LIFE’s shoot, they were the hottest act in pop, skyrocketing in 1970 with “ABC” and “I’ll Be There,” and had just moved into an expansive new house.

“It was very controlled,” Olson says of the photo shoot that resulted in the September, 24, 1971 LIFE cover. “As I remember, they followed my requests to a T, and were incredibly polite. The dad was pretty stern.”

Indeed, Joe — who had been a crane operator in Gary, Indiana, just three years before — hinted at the relentless drive toward fame about which Michael would later voice such ambivalence. “It wasn’t hard to know they could go on to be professionals,” Joe told LIFE of his young sons. “They won practically all the talent shows and I wasn’t surprised when they did make it.” (+)

#1: © John Olson / Time & Life / Getty, 1970, Olson sets up to shoot the Jackson 5 in their backyard
#2: © John Olson / Time & Life / Getty, 1970, With their parents standing by, 13-year-old dynamo Michael (front left) and his brothers Jackie, Marlon, Tito and Jermaine straddle their motorbikes by the pool

See more photos here.

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© John Olson / Time & Life / Getty, 1970, Richie Havens & his parents, Brooklyn

The musician who opened the show at Woodstock grew up with his folks, Richard and Mildred, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, but he bought them this home in nearby East Flatbush when his music career took off. The Havenses had nine kids and, as Mrs. Havens told LIFE, "Richie is the only one who’s really moved away. I can’t get rid of most of them."

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© John Olson / Time & Life / Getty, 1970, Frank Zappa with parents

Frank Zappa with his dad, Francis, his mom, Rosemarie, and his cat in 1970. See more photos here.

John Olson on Frank Zappa: “Everyone had told me that Frank Zappa was going to be really difficult, and he couldn’t have been more professional,” Olson told

Zappa on His Parents: “My father has ambitions to be an actor,” Frank told LIFE. “He secretly wants to be on TV.”

Zappa’s Mom on Zappa: “The thing that makes me mad about Frank is that his hair is curlier than mine — and blacker.”

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© Tom Stoddart / Getty Images, 2010s, South Sudan

The Jamam refugee camp in Upper Nile State, South Sudan houses 36,500 vulnerable people who have fled across the border from their homes in Blue Nile state to escape the ongoing fighting between Khartoum’s government troops and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. In spring 2012 water was desperately scarce in the camp and as people formed long lines at taps in 40 degrees of heat, frustration and fights broke out.

Nearby at a dried up watering hole, every day dozens of thirsty children dug deep holes and caves into the parched earth to scoop up cups of muddy water. Sarah Yabura aged 16 says “Getting water from the holes is very difficult and dangerous. I’m afraid of the snakes. Life here is difficult and it will get much worse during the rainy season because this area will be flooded. Our whole family is here except my grandmother who stayed in Blue Nile. I have no hope for the future because there is no school here, no good life and my future is dark.” (read more)

© Thomas D. McAvoy / Getty Images, Apr 9, 1939, Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson performs (with Kosti Vehanen on piano) at the Lincoln Memorial in April 1939. Here’s a video of that performance:

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© Southworth & Hawes / GEH / Getty, ca. 1848, Albert Sands Southworth

A portrait of early American photographer Albert Sands Southworth, believed to have been taken in 1848. Southworth & Hawes operated their daguerreotype studio in Boston, Massachusetts from 1843 to 1863 and were considered to be artistic and technical innovators of the medium Photograph.

© Joseph Haywood Magee / Getty Images, 1956, West Indian Arrivals

Immigrants from the West Indies arrive at Victoria Station in London. The photo was published in Picture Post, 8405, Vol. 71 (Jun. 9, 1956).