Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
September 22, 2019

Capturing the Audacity of Climate Youth

This week, with students in the streets and major environmental meetings taking place at the UN, we are looking at different images related to global warming and international climate action.

Photo: Britainy Newman/New York Times. Youth Climate Strike in NYC, 9/20/19

If you’ve been online this week, you probably saw climate strike protest photos from around the world. Tied to student school walkouts, the crowds, and the protests, have been dominated by young people.

Not surprisingly, one of the dominant themes of the movement is adult failure. Young people clearly understand their generation is most at risk. What they don’t understand, and have been plenty vocal about, is how adults in authority could be so negligent in the face of the threat to their welfare.

In surveying the pictures of the young people on the march, the passion and sense of urgency are obvious. But I’m not sure the pictures really capture the self-determination or the sense of authority that the kids are feeling.

That’s where this Instagram photo comes in. The fantastical scene by Brittainy Newman (she’s a photography fellow at the NY Times) speaks to that raw audacity. Her shot is a “wild child” rendition of the youngs unleashed. Like a fairy tale come to life, we see these kids reclaiming nature–and economics, as well.

-Michael Shaw⠀

Photo: Brittainy Newman/New York Times. Caption: Youth Climate Strike in NYC, September 20, 2019.

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