A photograph from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, of a female protester serenely staring down police officers in riot gear as they arrest her, has generated wide attention on social media and in publications worldwide. The photographer, Jonathan Bachman, has said that the photo captures the peaceful but determined nature of the protests in Baton Rouge, and the subject of the photo, Ieshia Evans, wrote on Facebook that while she appreciates the well-wishes, she was only serving as a “vessel” for God’s work.
A similar photo, in which one Jan Rose Kasmir confronts heavily armed National Guard soldiers outside the Pentagon with a flower held between her hands, captured the public eye and helped turned opinion against the Vietnam war in a 1967 protest. Kasmir, now a 66-year-old massage therapist in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, has told TIME that she thinks Evans approach to the sudden spotlight has been the right one.
Subject of iconic 1960s protest image speaks about viral Baton Rouge photo https://t.co/bTK9jn0cJg
— TIME (@TIME) July 11, 2016
“You just can’t get confused about being the object of attention and what your life’s about,” Kasmir said. “You can take it as a sign that what you do counts, but … when I first started getting attention and then I was dropped on my head back to my normal life, it was painful.” Kasmir also revealed that if Evans is anything like herself, then it’s unlikely that the image of calm she portrayed was truly representative of what was going through her mind. “Prior to that moment,” said Kasmir, “I was up against the rhetoric, the ‘war machine,’ the ‘baby killers.’ At that moment I looked into their eyes and I thought, ‘Oh my God, these are just young boys.’ If you look at my face, I’m extremely sad.”
The reason for the broad appeal of the 1967 photo, and this weekend’s image from Baton Rouge, Kasmir explained, is simple. “To me,” she said, “this speaks to how much more powerful peace is.”
Read the full story at TIME.