Book 8 in the Our Ever Changing World: Through the Eyes of Artists Art-Project Books Series. A 100 page book with over 100 images documenting the Signs of the March on January 21, 2017, as only Ann Marie Rousseau’s eye can catch. She is an established Southern California based contemporary artist, known for her detailed artwork, and her never ending support of the local art community through her photo documentation of art openings, and the community as a whole.
Ann Marie places, frozen in time, an event that will eventually take it’s place in history books as one of the largest peaceful social political protests of our time.
Thank you Ann Marie Rousseau for your insights and adventures.
Our Ever Changing World: Through the Eyes of Artists: The Woman’s March, Los Angeles,CA 2017 by Ann Marie Rousseau
Book Eight: (8.5 x 11 4/color) The Women’s March was a worldwide anti-Donald Trump protest on January 21, 2017, to protest legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBTQ rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The rallies were aimed at Trump, immediately following his inauguration as President of the United States, largely due to statements and positions attributed to him regarded by many as anti-woman or otherwise offensive. It was the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history. There are 100 4/color pages of photos documenting the event in Los Angeles.
Buy the book here
[Introduction from the Book]
January 21, 2017
An amazing, beautiful day at the Women’s March in Los Angeles where it was said that more than 750,000 people showed up to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump. To make sure we found parking, Dawn Arrowsmith and I, a mighty team of two, arrived at Harry Chandler and Ceci’s downtown loft on south Broadway at 8 am. They graciously provided coffee, cake, and art supplies to a small group of us for sign making.
Dawn brought her own sign, which protested the Electoral College. Her sign was a comment on the fact that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million votes which came mostly from California and New York. Trump won the Electoral vote: 306 vs Clinton’s 232. We had two candidates, neither of whom got 50% of the vote, but the President is elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote. The Electoral College is meant to give extra weight to less populous states which tend to be Republican. The purpose is to protect minorities, however we did not have a minority candidate. Ironically the founders of our country set up this system as a line of defense against special interests or in the case that the public was about “to vote in a despot or tyrant.”* I made a simple T with the “NO” symbol, a circle and diagonal line on it. Harry hung a banner from the window proclaiming “Power to Pussy.” Not sure about that one.
Slideshow sampling of the images from the book.
Dawn and I headed off to the march around 9am and soon found ourselves in a massive crowd of people that just kept coming and coming. We stuck to the sidelines for the most part, just in case things got rowdy or out of control, but despite the size of the crowds, the march was exceptionally peaceful and discernably cheerful. There was great feeling of exuberance and camaraderie. We did see police, but they were not obtrusive, and there was no violence at any of the simultaneous marches that took place around the country as far as I know.
We have Trump to thank for the liberation of the word “Pussy” which is now freely used by the media and was symbolized in the thousands of pink “Pussy Hats” worn by everyone and also reflected in the multitudes of signs exclaiming, “Pussy Power!” Other signs said, “Just try grabbing THIS Pussy,” and “Pussies Have Claws!”
Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman of Los Angeles created the Pussyhat Project in response to Trump’s comments that women would let him “grab them by the pussy,” implying also that it was something they might enjoy. Suh and Zweiman knitted, crocheted, sewed and encouraged crafters all over the US to make these hats from patterns provided on the their website. The kitty-eared hats made a sea of pink, reflecting women’s solidarity from New York to Los Angeles.
I had a lot of fun photographing the signs. I liked the ones that were paragraph-long diatribes about everything from equality for women and overthrowing patriarchy/capitalism. Of course most of these defeated the actual purpose of a sign as they were difficult if not impossible to read in the moving parade of marchers, but they became readable in the photographs. These signs contrasted nicely with the many one-word posters of “Sad,” “Really?” “NOPE,” and “WTF.” Maybe my two favorite signs were very simple ones. One said, “Facts Matter,” and the other, “Free Melania.”
I tried to photograph as many as I could. This collection of photographs is a sampling.
After a few hours Dawn and I were ready to go home, but discovered that our fortuitous $7 parking space in a nearby parking garage was on the route of the march and we were locked in for the duration. We made our way to a wonderful French restaurant in the neighborhood, hoping for a celebratory lunch, but apparently everyone else had the same idea. There was a two-hour wait. Luckily we found a little deli with outside seating where we could comfortably watch the seemingly endless stream of pussy-hatted protestors, though even there, the lines were too long to order any food or drink. We had prudently backpacked our own water and snacks. It was a quintessential sunny southern California day, and perfectly pleasant to be in the midst of so much solidarity and good cheer. There was hope!
*The Federalist No. 10: The Utility of the Union as a Safeguard Against Domestic Faction and Insurrection. Thomas DeMichele, factmyth.com.
About the Author
A.M. Rousseau is a multi-disciplined artist and photographer who has exhibited her work in solo shows in New York, California, Texas, Ohio, and in Europe and Japan as well as museums in Lancaster, Bakersfield and Oklahoma. Her work has been published in magazines including Life Magazine, The Photo Review, Art in America, The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe among others.
She is the recipient of a National Endowment in the Arts Fellowship, The Djerassi Foundation Affymax Fellowship, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Artist Residency, Yaddo Artist residency, the Virginia Center for the Arts residency, the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for Excellence and Service in the Arts, and the Harc Foundation Award.
She received her undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts College of Art and a Master’s Degree in Fine art from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. She also attended the New York Studio School for Painting and Sculpture and the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture. Drawings and paintings from the series, “A Hundred Points on a Line,” were exhibited at Andi Campognone Projects in Pomona, CA. and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History. Her paintings from the series “Sight Lines” were shown at the Bakersfield Museum in March 2015. She recently had an exhibit at the CMay gallery at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, and her work traveled to Korea for an exhibition in September 2015. She shows with the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Los Angeles, Fresh Paint in Los Angeles and Scape Gallery in Corona Del Mar, CA.
“The Women’s March was a worldwide anti-Donald Trump protest on January 21, 2017, to protest legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues, including women’s rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, the natural environment, LGBQT rights, racial equality, freedom of religion, and workers’ rights. The rallies were aimed at Trump, immediately following his inauguration as President of the United States, largely due to statements and positions attributed to him regarded by many as anti-woman or otherwise offensive. It was the largest single-day demonstration in U.S. history.
The Washington March drew at least 500,000 people, and worldwide participation has been estimated to be 5 million people. Officials reported that 673 marches took place worldwide, on all seven continents, including 29 in Canada, 20 in Mexico, and one in Antarctica. In Washington D.C. alone, the protests were the largest political demonstrations since the anti-war protests against Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, with both protests drawing in similar numbers. The Women’s March crowds were peaceful, and no arrests were made in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle, where an estimated combined total of 2 million people marched.”
The Women’s March, January 21, 2017, Los Angeles. All Photo documentation ©copyright Ann Marie Rousseau. All rights reserved. Any questions regarding rights please contact to her.