- Purchase/rental options available:
This visual essay invites renewed reflection on the iconography of the people. In the spring of 2020, Guatemala's President Alejandro Giammattei prohibited citizens from leaving their homes to help contain the spread of the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19. Doing little to manage the spread of the virus, these curfew events gave new aesthetic and political meaning to a familiar visual genre: photographs of empty streets. For more than a century, and especially in the summer of 2020, images of crowds and mass protests have provided both governments on the one hand, and protesting multitudes on the other with an aesthetic representation of the people. But this interest in collective assemblies has tended to engage only one side of the equation. To fully appreciate the visual power of the people, it is also necessary to understand those images from which people are strikingly absent.