A disgraced photographer tries to salvage his career by finding the Tiananmen Square ‘Tank Man’ in Lucy Kirkwood’s series, a strikingly intelligent balance of the personal and the political
Tank Man. I had forgotten ever hearing the phrase, used 30 years ago to describe the unidentified figure who stood in front of the tanks advancing towards Tiananmen Square the morning after the Chinese military opened fire on its own people to end the anti-government protests for human and press rights, killing hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians.
He wasn’t the only person who did so – but he was the only one whose image was captured (by Jeff Widener) and sent around the world. It was not only the most arresting photograph of the protests, but also served as an illustration of the personal responsibility we bear to stand up to evil.