watch zoë ghertner’s beautiful protest film from the washington march

The photographer captured the faces and voices of demonstrators as they took to the streets, signs held high.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
01 February 2017, 9:20pm

The signs at the Women's March in Washington broadcast protesters' messages loud and clear: "Women won't back down," "No person is illegal," "My body, my choice," "I've seen better cabinets at IKEA." But photographer Zoe Ghertner's new film captures marchers' voices, too.

Shot during the march in Washington on January 21, Ghertner's footage is a moving, intimate record of a historic day. Three young girls belt out chants through a shared megaphone almost too heavy for them to hold: "This is what democracy looks like!" A girl with pigtail braids and rainbows painted on her cheeks adjusts a homemade sign that reads, "65% of rapes go unreported." Balloons float in front of the Washington Monument as the crowd chants, "No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here."

On a day when the numbers were almost too overwhelming to comprehend — 500,000 in Washington, 400,000 in New York, 750,000 in Los Angeles — Ghertner captured humane portraits of the individual people whose lives will be affected by Trump's presidency, and who filled the streets to shout "NO."

Ghertner has a history of championing women in her work. She's collaborated closely with Céline under Pheobe Philo, is known for her naturalistic portraits of women, and recently shot actress Sasha Lane for her first i-D cover. This film follows suit, sharing a beautiful, all-inclusive picture of womanhood — and documenting a moment of hope and solidarity we'll need to rewatch and remember in the years ahead. As Ghertner wrote on her Instagram today, "It's time to take action, this is just the beginning."

Related: Stef Mitchell's powerful portraits of marchers taking Washington


Text Alice Newell-Hanson

women's march
womens march on washington
zoe ghertner
washington march