This photo of a Native American protestor in Standing Rock, North Dakota was shared on Twitter on November 4, 2016. The image shows a solitary protestor on horseback, facing a line of uniformed police officers and armored police and military vehicles. The photo was originally taken by photojournalist Ryan Redhawk as part of a crowd-funding site to support his work at Standing Rock. But it was not until the photo was tweeted by filmmaker Larry Wright that it became a viral phenomenon—retweeted tens of thousands of times.
What message does this photo send about the Standing Rock protestors? About the U.S. government and local police force?
How does this image represent Native Americans? How does this image represent the historical struggles of Native Americans?
Why do you think this photo became a viral image?
Did you see this photo when it was circulated? Have you ever circulated a photo like this on social media? Why or why not?
What role does an image like this play in public discussions about controversies such as Standing Rock? Do you think activists can use photos or other media to spread messages about their cause?