“Riot!” : Bologna, Italy, 26th March 2011
Taking this picture made me feel like a real journalist, and some people who saw me must have thought I was indeed a news photographer.
It’s interesting how images can be deceptive, however. The police were not really blocking the road, and the students just entering the picture from the left were allowed to pass on towards the university campus to continue their protest with no violence or arrests whatsoever.
The picture seems to tell a rather more sinister and threatening story, though, but in truth it wasn’t a riot at all, and the officers were quite friendly towards those airing their grievances, as if they had witnessed similar scenes before.
What struck me in particular, as a resident of Japan, is how such scenes would never play out in my adopted home, where students have been so mollified by wealth since the radicalism of the sixties that they are almost totally apolitical and lethargic about serious issues. And this is not a good thing, in my opinion.
You can find a larger version of this photograph here.