One is the Loneliest Number

Darren M / © Darren Melrose - 05/12/2007 17:24:41 project: Is it a protest if noone comes \ Asia \ Taiwan \ T'ai-pei Shih
Carrying on with the protest at the former Chiang KaiShek Memorial Hall, now known as the Taiwan Democracy Monument.  As I mentioned yesterday, at the beginning of this protest over the removal of the sign (seen at the top of the arch here), there was quite a lot of play in the media, lots of videographers, reporters and photographers, but a real lack of actual protesters.  This was from yesterday, and you can see how few protesters there were.  This guy is directly under the real estate in dispute, yet he is all alone.  Today I was there again and he was still there, but no more protesters had really shown up.  I saw seven protesters today and seven television trucks with satellite upload stuff pointed to the sky.  Much ado about nothing at this point.

This lonely guy is pretty hardcore; he has been there from the start.  Not that many others are as devout.  I actually feel sorry for those who have put in the effort, even though I don't agree in any way with the cause they are fighting for. 

I should mention that when I went by after work tonight (about 8pm), there were quite a few more protesters; their numbers were now well into the double digits.  However, there were also 15 TV trucks (I am not even sure if there are 15 TV stations here in Taiwan that have news coverage, but maybe there is) and quite a few more gawkers.  There were also quite a few police visible, although not where the people were.  They were protecting the memorical building (seen in the distance), even though it was the signs at the gates that were supposed to come down. 

Things might be coming to a head as I write this; the rumours are that the sign might come down right after midnight (it is 12:15 now).  I will be by again tomorrow to see what is happening, but I think I have enough shots as it is to finish most of the story. 

This is not politics as usual in Taiwan; I am shocked at the lack of numbers.

As a sidebar, the average age of those protesting either way is well into the 60s.  Although older Taiwanese are rabid about their politics, those in their 20s, the so called Strawberry Generation, are completely removed.  Taiwan is going to change from one of the most politically involved countries in the world to one of the least far too quickly.  I will talk about that more later.
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discussion about this photo  exif data 
16/12/2007 15:23    from : markoci
agree abt. the two guys being in the way, but cropping wouldn't work because of the symmetry, maybe cloning (not sure how you feel about that)... i think i'd have used this as an opener, just to give us a setting...

14/12/2007 03:34    from : flydragon
Hello Daren
a interesting project and story. i have seen your third picture, then i would like to comment the second now. this picture is interesting to show the place in your project, if we follow your reportage, alway interesting to have a large view before going for sme closeup or portrait.

06/12/2007 03:22    from : Furachan
First off I love the idea of this series, for it encapsulates two things I really go for in  combination: sad...and funny. This is absolutely a relevant shot at the right point in the project but there is for me a major, single flaw that you could so easily correct. You need, buddy, to crop ouut the two stragglers on the right - they do the worst thing possible here - they take away from the loner's lonesomeness...;o)
Otherewise it would be very string indeed.

06/12/2007 00:43    from : jinju

Hi darren,

what a good use of the wiede angle vertical frame. Its a bit dizzying. Maybe the only weakness here is that you didnt get closer. The guy is a tad small and Im not crazy about the cut off guys on the right. Looks to me like you have taken an ironic angle to do this project, and this one made me laugh.  

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