Photographer Natalie Keyssar spent 12 hours with members of the Answer Coalition, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, as they made their way from New York City to Washington to protest at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. She takes us behind the scenes.
I’ve spent the last few years covering activism in other parts of the world, and now I’m really focused on the U.S. as I see my generation change in the wake of this election.
That means taking a deep and personal look at activism at the dawn of the Trump era, turning the lens on my loved ones to use that intimacy to create images that are personal and self-reflective, because there’s no denying that these issues are now personal for many Americans.
I learned about the Answer Coalition, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, through politically active friends who had been participating in some of their events. One of them is Anna Hillary, a friend of mine.
In recent weeks, I’ve speaking with Anna to try to make sense of the new political landscape in America after the elections. When she mentioned she was taking an overnight bus ride to Washington to peacefully protest the new administration. I thought it was important to show who she and the other members of this coalition were. I was interested in knowing why they chose to protest on Inauguration Day when the Women’s March had gotten so much attention.
I think Karina Garcia, one of the organizers, sums it up best: “This is the day. This is when people have to come out and show who they are. Now is the time.”
Natalie Keyssar is a documentary photographer based in New York City.