With so many photographers concentrated in New York and DC, it’s no surprise our Instagram feed has been blanketed with snow pictures for the last two days. Seeing photos by Mark Peterson in the queue, I was almost expecting a Boogaloo Boi trudging through a snowdrift with an igloo flag. On the other hand, I could also appreciate if he had just posted fun and wondrous scenes of the Winter Storm Orlena white-out like so many others. But that’s not Mark. And more power to him for his persistent focus on politics and equality in all conditions. ⠀
Obviously, the snowstorm is a big visual story and the newswires are moving a lot of images of it. What I’m reminded of, though, is 2012 and the lead up to Hurricane Sandy. As we noted at the time, the photo coverage in New York City was dominated by photos of windows boarded up at Saks Fifth Avenue and sandbags in front of the headquarters of Goldman Sachs and the New York Stock Exchange. Barely visible, however, were people of lesser means, including the homeless.
A major blizzard naturally lends itself to images of beauty and wonder, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But at the current moment, with so much suffering from our “K shaped” recovery, the massive impact of the virus, and yes, the climate meltdown, this event just compounds the adversity. With that in mind, this woman’s struggle, simply intensified by the snow, is the elemental point here.