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November 7, 2018

Young Girl Being Trained to Not React to Smoke Blown in Her Face and Having Her Hair Pulled, 1960

In 1960 Magnum photographer Eve Arnold attended a training school for black sit-ins in Petersburg, Virginia. She documented a series of photos of a young girl being trained not to hit back when harassed by whites.

It’s pretty amazing most people don’t realize how much work goes into protests and social movements. When you are dealing with extremely dangerous social disobedience training is necessary to avoid chaos. You can’t just get a large group of people together and have a successful action. People panic. They might strike out reflexively when threatened. People get hurt or even killed. This training has now become commonplace for protestors.

Eve Arnold (1912–2012) was already one of the foremost photographers of her time. Equally at ease photographing potato pickers in Long Island and the Queen of England, Arnold selected subjects ranging from a nomad bride in the Hindu Kush to Zulu women in a South African hospital, harems in Abu Dhabi, barmaids in Cuba, a fencing mistress in a British school, African American women marching for civil rights in Virginia, and her famous portraits of Marilyn Monroe.

(Photos © Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos)



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