Women's March Captured in Photos and Words

Nadia_Horsted-4510.jpg

On Saturday the 21st of January, on the first day of Trump's presidency, people from around the world filled the streets, demonstrating solidarity with the Women's March in Washington D.C.

In these striking images, photographer and artivist Nadia Horsted Narejo captured the sea of protesters as they flooded downtown Los Angeles. The LAPD estimated that half a million people took to the streets, making it the largest protest in the city in a decade.

Masq talked to eight young women marching in L.A, D.C and abroad, to find out why they marched, and what their experience was like.  

Alex Almeida (25), Marching in L.A

As a disaster relief worker, I had to work Friday night doing flood responses, went to the Women's March yesterday, and am doing flood response today. My feet and body are tired, but I marched so I can keep my job as a humanitarian, so we can keep our shelters open to anyone and everyone, so I could see a million other Latina's and nasty women and bad hombres shout 'Pussy Power' and mean it. I've never been political, but this year and the one we just entered is changing that.


Zahra Haider (30), Marching in Washington, D.C.

At the march, I was experiencing a myriad of conflicting but equally important feelings. I was angry that we were here in the first place, guilty that I hadn’t done my part enough to support movements like Black Lives Matter in the past and ecstatic that we were indeed all in this together. I am ready for my role in making a better America for everyone. I marched for equality and justice for every single marginalized individual I know and for all those I don’t. I marched for my family, my friends, and my future children.

Kyra Caruso, Marching in Washington D.C.

It was important to be to be represented in the US Capitol. The march was beautiful and peaceful. 'A diverse family march' would be the best description. 

We have to continuously resist. The current president is a criminal, a demagogue, a narcissist, backed by a cabinet who wants to enrich itself. This is all very dangerous and only continuous, collective resistance will help.

Anonymous (25), Marching in Copenhagen, Denmark

As a survivor of sexual assault, I watched as a man who had normalized the rhetoric of abuse swear in as the leader of my country. As a Japanese-American, I listened to his plans to establish a registry, one that was scarily reminiscent of our internment camps. As a first-generation American, I felt fear as he further and further alienated all immigrants, demonizing the core of what it is to even be an American. I was weakened, defeated, and demoralized by his words. He had run on a platform in which sexism, racism and homophobia reigned. 

The women’s march, to me, stood for the opposite. It gave me a voice when I felt voiceless. It reminded me that for every Donald, there are millions of women who are ready to demonstrate their value and articulate their strength. I hope that this voice never grows quiet. I hope that the energy and optimism that I felt yesterday as I was accompanied by 5,000 peers and allies in the streets of Copenhagen, continues to rage on. And most of all, I hope that his actions become the catalyst for a permanent and positive change.

Nadia (37), Marching in Rome, Italy

Let me preface by saying, never bring a hungry toddler to a March. Rookie mum move. That aside, being there with all these women and men and children with these great signs and songs of protest gave me the chills the whole time. I would have liked to have seen more people of color and more support of the Black Lives Matter movement through chant song or sign, as there was none. The crowd was quite anglo-saxon.  Few Italians turned up. This could have been due to the massive protest the month before which was also a women's March - "ni una menos" - in protest against violence against women. Why March? In solidarity with people of color, and 'minority' groups. To be a part of a new movement that rejects and condemns patriarchal systems, xenophobia, climate change deniers, corporate and capitalist greed.
 

Emily (26), Marching in Washington D.C

The thing that struck me the most was how kind and compassionate everyone was, standing with all my reSISTERS.  Even with 500,000+ people, when someone needed a medic, literally the sea of crowds separted to create a clean pathway for them to get through. I made stickers for the march and was giving them out to everyone with the message "my body, my hobby." I felt empowered. We had so many different chants and crowd support for so many messages; pro women, anti Trump, for the Black Lives Matter movement: insatiable energy to protect women's rights and fight for our freedom.

Zoha Malik (24), Marching in Washington D.C. 

As a feminist Muslim woman with immigrant parents, I worry about the portrayal of these identities in the media. I worry Islamophobia will become more of a widespread problem due to the administration’s fear mongering tactics. I fear the treatment of immigrants and women in this country will worsen. My hope is that there will be bipartisan support to protect the rights of all minorities including LGBQTIA individuals, people with disabilities, women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, etc. Unfortunately, the new president hasn’t given these minorities much hope for his presidency.

Ashleigh Webb (28), Marching in Washington D.C. 

I was an awe. It was challenging getting there but we were relentless. EVERYONE was relentless. It was amazing to run into people from across the country, deciding to be present and show their support. To struggle to get there. To struggle to leave. But feel empowered by the whole process. In life or at some protests you feel like you are fighting alone or with others like you, but this weekend felt like so many were fighting together/for me. I know that there are things people don't understand about my struggle, and I don't understand about theirs, but I feel like this was an incredible effort to put that aside and stand together. And I think that said something.

Media nor Trump can be trusted, and I can't depend on either to truly represent my people or my experience. I hope people become even more emboldened to share their experiences, humbled to listen to others and spend time with others, and courageous to create without fear. I think this weekend's events showed what it looks like to come out, show up, and be unapologetically expressive, yet still care for people. It was unique and interesting and I think we're all a bit angry and excited and self evaluating right now, which I feel is a good thing.

I'm trying my best to open my mind to what all this shifting means, and where my place is in it. I want to connect with people more, I want to listen more, and as an introvert and slightly shy person, I want to speak up more and share and offer myself to the people and things and issues that break my heart.

 

All photography by Nadia Horsted Narejo.

See more of her work at horstedphotography.com, and on insta: @nadia_horsted_narejo

Maya Acharya