Celebrating Humanity by Documenting Black Lives Matter
When people were taking to the streets in Los Angeles for Black Lives Matter, I wanted to do everything I could to support this movement. It felt like this was a moment to step in and be a photojournalist, something I’ve never pursued professionally but felt called to do at this pivotal moment in human history.
When I was a photography student at the Art Academy, I took a year off to apprentice with a master photographer. One of his portfolios was from when he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the sixties during the Civil Rights movement. The images touched me. The images changed me. I could truly feel the human beings he made portraits of. He did a phenomenal job. This was thirty years ago and the photographs were made close to sixty years ago. And, today, when I look at some of the images coming through my camera, they sadly look very familiar to what he captured.
My work has always been about celebrating all of humanity in pursuit of living our greatest potential. As an artist, I was using the language of yoga asana to tell this story. To go from photographing yoga to photographing this movement feels very natural to me — human beings demonstrating on the streets with their arms up in power, reaching. Yoga philosophy teaches us that we are all the same; yet reality is not a reflection of that. And now we are fighting for it.
These are a selection of images from the Black Lives Matter demonstrations throughout the streets of LA. People of different backgrounds coming together to reach for a better future. To use our voices to move civil rights forward. A single photograph has the power to change the world. And an image is much more than a documentation of a moment in time—it is the expression of an idea with the potential to evoke emotion in an audience and imprint a lasting memory into the collective consciousness.
Photos Documenting Black Lives Matter Demonstrations in LA
Powerful, eloquent, passionate, intelligent, heartbroken, grieving, beautiful human beings. This is America’s moment to FINALLY create REAL equality, once and for all. . .
They are leaders demanding justice and a better life for themselves and their children, on what would have been the 27th birthday of Breonna Taylor.
City Hall ~ Los Angeles
As I look through the images, it’s all becoming so clear. And it’s the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever witnessed. Let is break us so that were may begin.
No. But I’ve traveled this country extensively. And I know what’s out there. Here we are — these photographs could be from 1963.
A dedicated yoga practitioner, photographer Robert Sturman has increasingly focused on capturing the timeless grace and embodied mindfulness of asana in his work.
His portraits, whether set in the lively streets of Manhattan, the expansive beaches and canyons of Malibu, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, the timeless elegance of Walden’s New England, or the bleakness of San Quentin Prison, remind us that there is beauty everywhere.
His stunning repertoire runs the gamut from yogis perched on rocks surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, to African orphans practicing yoga in Kenya, to breast cancer survivors, bare-chested and scarred. In addition, Sturman has worked extensively photographing war veterans who have embraced the practice of yoga to heal PTSD, in an effort to help change the heartbreaking statistics of veteran suicides each day.
In Sturman’s own words, “I often think of Rumi’s words ‘I can’t stop pointing to the beauty.’ That feels right to me.” Sturman’s honors include Official Artist of the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, 2010 FIFA World Cup Artist Representing America, and Official Artist 2008 United States Olympics. Sturman has been the subject of two separate New York Times articles celebrating his photographs of yoga from around the world.