The Photographic Journal

Ferguson

Essay 11 • Nov 27th 2014

My intent was to see for myself what was going on, and experience it firsthand. Especially after seeing images of the apparent repression via the internet, I simply had to see if it was really how it looked. Because if there was any merit to that, then this was a story being under-reported and deserving of global interest. One of the first things I realized was that certain parts of St. Louis had awakened in response to the shooting. Regardless of what happens with Darren Wilson, a movement was born the moment Michael Brown fell dead.

My intention as a photographer was to go as an utter blank slate and merely learn and document as much as I could, both of the protesters, press and police officers there. What I came away with was the feeling that the problems faced by St. Louis run deep, that this shooting was the straw that broke the camel's back, and that the sheer construction of St. Louis reinforces systematic oppression and inequality. But the relentlessness and determination of the protesters really impressed me, and it was amazing seeing the community band together after such a collective tragedy.

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Mel, a long-time resident of St. Louis, in the approved assembly area along West Florrisant avenue.

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St. Louis county police officers fill up their patrol vehicle with groceries at a local supermarket chain, now a staging area for law enforcement and the National Guard.

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A caravan of police officers traverses a stretch of West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri which has been the site of unrest and protest since Canfield resident Michael Brown 18, was shot to death by Ferguson police August 9th, 2014.

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Cecil Rogers, 61, a pastor and Missouri resident, on West Florrisant avenue, the epicenter of the Ferguson protest movement.

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Jamal Pigway, 24, poses atop a truck with his hands up, a symbol which has become synonymous with the Ferguson protests.

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CNN's Don Lemon and Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson host an impromptu discussion/meet and greet with Ferguson, MO youth.

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A Lenco BearCat armored personnel carrier belonging to the St. Louis police department is seen here in a car wash being used as a staging area for law enforcement.

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A young man participates in a group chanting 'no justice, no peace'along West Florissant avenue, in Ferguson, Missouri.

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A Ferguson protester and a member of the St. Louis state highway police shake hands amidst praise for each other's restraint and positivity.

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Inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant speaks to a crowd gathered around where Michael Brown was killed.

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Anderson Cooper at the CNN media tent on West Florissant avenue

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Robert Fumigalli, 38, a member of the St. Louis tactical police, is seen here in a staging area for local law enforcement along a stretch of West Florissant avenue.

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Church elder Gary Hill leads protesters from West Florrisant to the Ferguson police station in a rally for justice.

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Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson meets with residents and press in Ferguson, Mo.

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Mark Luaders, 54, longtime resident of the Canfield Drive neighborhood where Michael Brown was killed. Mark, a veteran of the armed forces, is seen here with his dog, Jack, just outside his apartment and directly adjacent to the shooting site.

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Tiana Tallie, 16 directly in front of the site where Michael Brown was killed.

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Three Ferguson residents hold hands in the middle of a prayer circle just opposite the Ferguson, Missouri county police department.

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Simon Zacahary Chetrit

My name is Simon Chetrit, and I am an editorial and photojournalistic photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. I am equally passionate about both current events and the human form. I focus specifically on medium and large format portraiture and especially full-face, intimate photographs. As a thorough news junkie and active citizen, I care deeply about humanity and the world. At times, a better future seems distinctly impossible. But for me, it helps to just capture the simple, mindblowing beauty our species is capable of.

SimonZacharyChetrit.com