Many photographs pass our eyes each day. Only few make a mark in history. Tiananmen Square, Beijing, and the photograph by Jeff Widener has its rightful place in history. Who can forget the shocking image of the single male student standing in front of a line of four tanks lined up one behind the other. His body seeming to be no match to the machines that were dispatched to serve a purpose.
Tiananmen Square was the Gate of Heavenly Peace. The largest square in the world held up to a million people at once. However, Tiananmen Square was also the site of a grave massacre that took the lives of many innocent students and families that were standing up for their beliefs. The massacre lasted only two gruesome days, June 3rd and 4th, 1989, but it ended in the killing of hundreds injuring over 10,000 more. ("The Battle")
The uprising began with Chinese students protesting the oppression of the government and they were demanding for their voice to be heard (Calhoun). Police were not effective in controlling the crowd, and military forces were sent to handle the situation. When the simple protest turned into a riot, things were out of control. Chinese students took the streets demanding democratic reforms, (Calhoun) only to have the government respond with deadly forces.
On June 4th, 1989, the government sent a line of tanks rolling into the heart of the riot; the riot that had somewhat calmed down that morning. One courageous student stood at the brink of death in their path. In the photograph, by Jeff Widener, ("Events") the viewer can see the image of a male greatly over powered by a line of four tanks, heavily armed. One man stood in their way and made them stop.
In the background of the pictu...
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...owever, only few hold meaning throughout the entire world for years to come. Because of Widener's photograph, no one can forget the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the courage of belief. Widener captured an encouraging photograph for history and the world. A single man in front of a line of tanks, standing up for what his beliefs.
" The Battle for Tiananmen Square". Unitarian Universalist Association. 1964.
"Events of the 1989Tiananmen Square Protest". Chinese History Timeline.
Calhoun, Craig. "Neither Gods nor Emperors: Students and the Struggle for Democracy in China" University of California Press. 1994. (8-24)
"Never Forget Tiananmen Square". Jaffo. Micheal B. Duff. 1998.
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