New Orleans This is my nomination for “picture of the year” for 2007. Just like my hero of the year from Panama, this is a picture of humanity manifesting itself past the structure of expectation and horror, and quite simply it moved me.
The photographer was Rina Castelnuovo working for the New York Times. The photo ran on August 8, 2007. An Israeli riot policeman is caught bent at the knees and in a brilliantly focused and captured shot he has picked up a pair of glasses from the pavement on the run. A West Bank settler protesting their removal from illegal settlements is being carried off in the other part of the frame by the police, but his hand is outstretched in this relay race of humanity to take the glasses from the other helmeted riot cop.
The cop proves that in any situation humanity can prevail and make a difference. In the time of our American prison atrocities, CIA wildness, wrestling cops handling protestors in New Orleans, and a thousand other pictures with the opposite message, this one stands out for me.