Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 13, 2010

Alan Chin: Not Exactly a Party

(This is a second post taking a closer look at the 9/12 Tea Party demonstration in Washington D.C. as captured by Contributing Photographer, Alan Chin.)

As opposed to more critical or outlandish portraits of Tea Party rallies, Alan Chin’s photos speak to the emotional underside of the so-called movement.

Behind the passion for and identification with “Don’t Tread on Me,” these faces reflect anguish and exhaustion. Especially in and around the eyes, we see decided strain, a weathered quality — sadness in some, frustration in others, cold anger molding others.  Whether the depression came first, eventually fixing on a fear of “the other” and a shrinking piece of the pie, or the other way around, these figures, as they materialize in the landscape, are raw, exposed nerves in the American psychology.

–Michael Shaw


About the Photographer

Alan Chin

Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Alan Chin was born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown. Since 1996, he has worked in China, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. In the US, Alan has explored the South, following the historic trail of the civil rights movement and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, covered multiple presidential campaigns, and the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is a contributing photographer to Newsweek/Daily Beast and The New York Times, a member of Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), and an editor at You can see all Alan's posts for BagNews here.

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