Behind the Lens at Boston’s Women’s March

Photo and words by Cole Barash

It’s now 2017 and I have a huge mixture of friends and family in my life. 

My cousin is transgender, my girlfriend’s brother is gay (among countless friends), some of my best friends and people I work with are of other races, plus celebrate other religions. Maybe it’s because my life is more in the art and fashion world now, so I am more exposed to others on the reg, but I do truly feel we are ONE these days. The days of racial profiling, calling some kid a faggot, or hating someone for being a different religion is over. Now that that piece of shit, racist scum somehow bought his way into presidency, I feel we gotta stand up now more than ever, to say FUCK YOU to what he is doing to what the ones before him fought so hard for.

Personally, I have realized artists are responsible for creating not just beautiful, odd, abstract, bold, weird, different, colorful, challenging, uncomfortable or pretty, bodies of work. It is also important to create work that makes actual statements of our time and the world we live in.

The ones I have the utmost respect for are those who’ve done this sporadically throughout their career or are doing so now. I’m not saying drop everything and only make politically-motivated work and become some sort of crazy, dramatic person. I’m saying if you have any depth to the work that you’re making, realize it’s okay to contribute in some way, even if it’s just a few ideas or pieces.

I can’t even imagine if all the “Instagram pros” took a fuckin’ break from the night star photos, cliff images with hands throwing in the air (amen Crombie), or photos of themselves with a ‘film camera’ they don’t even use. What if, instead, they actually clogged people’s feed with even just a few insightful images?

While these photographs are by no means a body of work, they’re a collection of some thoughts and visions I had while documenting in Boston, during the Women’s March.

Thousands among thousands showed up to shout or wave their sign. I heard something like 2.5 million showed up worldwide that day – that’s fucked.
Yes, fuck you. You racist, fuckin’ scum.
I posted up and observed this man for almost an hour. For an hour he reached out his hand helping hundreds of people get up this huge step onto his level so they could exit the enclosed area. To me, this image says a lot as it represents a true helping hand in a time when it’s so important to reach out to one another.

Why are you here today?

I am here to promote tolerance.

What’s the worst thing about Trump being sworn into Office?

Trump has made it okay for people to act racist and sexist. It’s not okay.

Excerpt from Crowd 1
Excerpt from Crowd 2
Excerpt from Crowd 3
Amen sister

Why’s it important now more than ever to stand up for what you believe in?

Because we can’t leave it to Trump, we can’t trust him. We don’t know what he will do, but we fear it won’t be good. Now is the time to exert your influence, stand up for your rights, vote, march, donate, volunteer.

What’s your biggest fear about Trump?

Well, that he has his finger on the nuclear button. And relationships with other countries—he has no thought, he doesn’t know what he’s doing, has no experience, and isn’t listening to other people. He has such thin skin he has to Tweet every day. He’s totally unprepared and if I thought that he would surround himself with wonderfully educated people, or informed people, then I might think differently. But he hasn’t done that.

Out of the all the presidents you’ve seen in Office, how does Trump compare?

Of all the presidents that I’ve lived through, he’s the least qualified ever.


Why are you here today, what’s behind the sign?

– We’re horrified by the current political situation and there are so many different groups of people being disrespected. You just can’t sit back behind your computer and say nothing about it.

– My job is primarily on the computer and millennials, well we’re always by ourselves and a little isolated on the internet. To be able to come here, I mean I thought there’d be around 10, 000 people here and there’s around 90, 000 people…I see people laughing and smiling and cheering. No violence.

– It’s a great, peaceful protest.

How will women succeed with Trump?

It’s all about allies, I mean women are doing such a great job by themselves, but the fact there’s so many movements coming together like the Trans Rights, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQA.

This girl climbed up this sketchy ass pillar across from mine and didn’t die. That was tight. Then she wrapped herself in an American flag and replicated herself (to me at least) as the Statue of Liberty.  She got the crowd fired up and to me, her ethnicity wrapped in the American flag was the most interesting contrast – showing a time of true change. I hope this one sticks around for a while.
I think when moments happen like this organically it’s a pretty crazy thing. It’s an image I don’t want to actually say anything about, people can read into it how they would like.

Check out more of Cole’s work on his website or here.

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