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Eric Michael Johnson August 15, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Egypt.

Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt 2011

Eric Michael Johnson (b. 1972, USA) is a recent graduate of the International Center of Photography school of Documentary Photography and Photojournalism Program 2010 where he was recipient of The New York Times Company Foundation Scholarship. In 2010, Eric was a winner of the PDN Pix Digital Imaging Contest in the Multimedia category for his work “Bellevue” on New York City’s largest homeless shelter. Eric is currently a freelance photographer/ filmmaker based between New York and Mexico City. His work is focused on documenting recurring social and political issue and has been published by the United Nations, The New York Times, Mother Jones, among others. His first documentary film was short-listed for an Academy Award Nomination in the Documentary Shorts category.

About the Photograph:

“The photograph is a simple portrait, but an important one in the context of the Egyptian revolution. It was taken on February 12, 2011 in Tahrir Square, Cairo, one day after President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Documenting the revolution was a very difficult task. Nobody knew what was going to happen next. Just a few days prior, Mubarak had given a televised speech announcing he would not step down. One moment you were allowed to photograph the military and the next you couldn’t without being detained. In this picture, the man on the left was extending his appreciation to a member of the military for supporting the people, allowing them to protest peacefully. What left the most lasting impression on me, and what in my opinion is different from the other similar uprisings in the world, is the relationship the people of Egypt have with their military. I witnessed that relationship displayed on a grand scale with crowds surrounding tanks and cheering, but this quiet moment between two men got my attention.”