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The Story Behind the Iconic Tank Man Photo Developing News

Date: 2020-09-07 19:00:10

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Legendary Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin talks to us about his famous ‘Tank Man’ image of a single man standing in front of a line of tanks, symbolising the uprising that happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989. It’s become an ubiquitous image in the West of the pro-democracy protests, but in China it’s like it’s been airbrushed out of history. Even getting the roll out of China was tricky, it was smuggled out in a box of tea by a French student heading for Paris. Stuart Franklin talks us through the events leading up to the photo and how it went on to be considered one of the greatest images of the 20th Century.

When you are on the front line, picking up a camera can often result in an image that immortalises a moment in time. From pictures captured during armed conflict to anti-facist protests, global pandemics to the start of a revolution – iconic photos reveal exactly what happened there and then. In this Developing News series, VICE interviews photographers whose photos have become synonymous with important world events. The photographers relive the story behind the photos, telling their tales from the front line of battlefields and hospitals, and reflecting on their journey to becoming a photographer. We hear how they sought out to document the truth, even risking their lives, to provide proof of events that stay long after the memories fade.

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