New Yorker Photography in a Year of Crisis

Sending photographers into the streets is one thing; sending them into crowded COVID -19 wards is another. In April, to capture the crisi...

Sending photographers into the streets is one thing; sending them into crowded COVID-19 wards is another. In April, to capture the crisis inside New York City’s overburdened hospitals, the magazine’s photo department enlisted Karen Cunningham, an intensive-care nurse with a background in photography. Cunningham secured permission to bring her camera to her own workplace, at Lenox Hill Hospital, and in the course of two twelve-hour shifts she followed another nurse, her friend Cady Chaplin, and their colleagues in the I.C.U. She captured patients receiving oxygen and being intubated, a doctor holding a patient’s hand or performing a lung ultrasound, but also the lonely moments after work, when Chaplin would shed her P.P.E. in the hospital locker room and commute home through a deserted city.

In June, city streets were packed again as a historic protest movement erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police, in Minneapolis. Isaac Scott, a twenty-nine-year-old art student in Philadelphia, documented the protests there. The coronavirus was a safety concern—Scott wore a mask at all times—but so were the police and their riot gear. “I was teargassed twice,” Scott said. He captured scenes of chaos, and fire, but one of his most powerful images is of complete stillness: protesters lying down on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art for eight minutes and forty-six seconds, the length of time that the police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.

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Newsrust: New Yorker Photography in a Year of Crisis
New Yorker Photography in a Year of Crisis,c_limit/best-of-photo-2020-05.jpg
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