Photojournalists capture pictures to tell countless kinds of stories. But this year, many shared a similar theme of public protest.
Whether it was women marching on Washington or independence protestors in Catalonia, the sheer number of gatherings represents a “new normal” for this kind of freedom of expression, says Pancho Bernasconi, the vice president of editorial photo news service Getty Images.
“This year was one that was absolutely full of protests, domestically [and] internationally,” he says. That includes rallies against police brutality in St. Louis, and NFL players taking a very public knee during the league’s televised national anthem, in order to continue highlighting racial injustices.
In the U.S., protest movements have been growing in their organization and sophistication since the Black Lives Matter movement coalesced in 2014 . “There’s this cycle. People pay attention, and then we pay attention,” says Bernasconi. While Getty complies an annual “Year in Focus” gallery of important cultural moments, those generally fall under broader umbrellas like news, sports, entertainment, or in memoriam.
The organization’s trove of protest images, however, seemed both important and massive enough that Bernasconi agreed to share them separately with Fast Company. “I think protests are an important part of a modern democratic society, and it’s our responsibility to make people aware that these things are going on,” he says.
When viewed together in the slide show above, Getty’s images provide a powerful visual history for the rise of resistance in 2017. Here are a dozen moments that have been shot and shared around world.