My team’s research project is on the photograph taken by Marc Riboud entitled “Jan Rose Kasmir”. For my portion of the project I am focusing on the immediate reception and impact of the photo. I took this first week and blog post to gather as much information as possible about what was generally happening and who Jan Rose Kasmir, the woman in the photograph, is. As I was searching for background information I found that the photo was taken in 1967 during the March on the Pentagon. This alone brings about much discussion because the March on the Pentagon is marked as a preliminary anti-war demonstration in the history of the U.S. Jan Rose Kasmir was one of the many people from the younger generation who was protesting and demanding for U.S. soldiers in Vietnam to be returned home.
From the research I have conducted thus far I have also gathered some information, which will be helpful when searching for the photo in the newspaper. Marc Riboud did not even know the name of the girl he photographed until about three decades later. In fact, the protest had been occurring for many hours that day and it was later in the afternoon when Riboud noticed the girl talking to the National Guard soldiers and just inches away from their bayonets. Her courage and manner of protest struck him as profound, and clearly it did to the rest of the world as well. Solely by finding this post I have uncovered much information, which I had not known before hand.
The site I discovered also contains pictures of Jan Rose Kasmir that Marc Riboud took the same day he took the one which had so much of an impact on our world. By searching through the other pictures I am able see more clearly what exactly was occurring; therefore, my knowledge of the photo and actions of Kasmir have broadened.
In yet another site I witnessed more in detail about why Kasmir decided to take the actions she did, and what she was feeling as it occurred. As she explained it to interviewers it was as simple as Kasmir deciding to be a part in the movement and wanting to stop the war. Her solemn facial expression in the photograph follows the feelings she had when she stated, “I realized ‘them’ was that soldier in front of me—a human being I could just as easily have been going out on a date with…”. Kasmir’s photo became so unforgettable because she was protesting not by violence, but by trying to speak with the soldiers.
The sources I have found thus far have supplied me with a fair amount of back ground knowledge as to what was happening on October 21, 1967 and who Jan Rose Kasmir is. This insight will allow me to delve deeper into the photo to understand more detailed sources.