5 Places and events that inspired my photography  – they will inspire you too!

By Irene Borins Ash

1) Edmund Winston Pettus Bridge, Alabama, USA 

I spent an hour at the Edmund Winston Pettus Bridge trying to get a powerful shot but there was just a constant stream of traffic.

This bridge became an important historical site in Alabama because it was here that in 1965, 3,200 people marched out of Selma and across the bridge in a peaceful march to the capital city of Montgomery. They were marching for the right to vote for black people.   As the protesters headed over the bridge toward Montgomery they were confronted by a large group of police on the other side. The ensuing attack by the police on the peaceful protesters has come to be known as Bloody Sunday.  Ironically (or perhaps not), Edmund Pettus (1821-1907), was a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon.

The National Park Service website has a short description that is light on the details:

_E2A1907EMAIL“The Edmund Pettus Bridge became a symbol of the momentous changes taking place in Alabama, America, and the world. It was here that voting rights marchers were violently confronted by law enforcement officers on March 7, 1965. The day became known as Bloody Sunday. On Sunday, March the 21st 3,200 marchers headed out of Selma, across the bridge and onto Montgomery. Marchers walked 12 miles a day and slept in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March the 25th, they were 25,000- strong. Less than five months later President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965—the best possible redress of grievances.”


You can also read more basic details about this story on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Pettus_Bridge

I was ready to leave when suddenly a group of mostly black youths and their teacher were walking across the bridge. I was thrilled as I was able to capture an image that helps tell the ongoing importance of this story.


2) The Police and Peace – it is possible

Police at the People’s Climate March in New York City, September 21st, 2014

IMG_9943email copy copyI was in New York City for the “People’s Climate March” on September 21st, 2014. I was capturing images that day. Hundreds of thousands of people were there. When I saw the police leaning against the fence and watching the event- it reminded me of the police presence that occurred during the Civil Rights era. The difference was that the police were there in case there was a problem and there was not. The day was completely peaceful.

3) Mother kissing her son in Parkdale, Toronto

IMG_1338emailI saw this woman kissing her young son and I had to capture the powerful and loving moment.

4) Why I March. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, January 21st, 2017

5E2A2590emailHEIDIThe photo of the young child was taken at the “Women’s March Toronto- 1.21.2017- Ask Me Why I March”. I took the shot as I am concerned about what the world will be like for the youth of today. With the environment as it is and with incredible political challenges I am saying- this is about the children of today. Don’t we owe them more?!

5) Delicious New York City Memories: Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes (Since 1910)

IMG_8732EMAILI have been visiting Yonah Schimmel’s Knish store since I did my Master of Social Work Degree at Wurzweiler School of Social Work- Yeshiva University beginning in 1983. Nothing has changed as far as the decor goes. The store has been immortalized in time. What intrigued me the most is Eleanor, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt have all enjoyed the wonderful knishes here. When I arrive in New York one of the first things I do is go to Yonah Schimmel’s. The knishes are memorable. When my niece Haley went to New York with me I took her there. The knishes are so large that we hardly needed to eat anything else that day.

For more information about my work please visit my website at  www.ireneborinsash.com.  


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