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Editorial – 2020: The year in pictures

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2020 may have been a hellacious shitshow in many respects, but by this same token it was also a groundbreaking, life-changing, polarizing, volatile and revolutionary one. Many people have never experienced so much unrest and crisis in a single year, and it will surely go down in the history books as one of the most memorable and challenging years this country has endured in quite a long time.

2020 concurrently proved to us that we are more resilient – and more fragile – than we ever knew. Although we have entered a new year, the momentous effects of 2020 will undoubtedly follow us into this year. Only time will tell how we make out as a society, a culture, and a community. We here at the Collegian are hopeful that we will take the lessons we have learned in 2020 and apply them to both our immediate and long-term futures, lest we forget how fast and easy comes our undoing.

Our very own photographer, Jordan Somers, was in the trenches covering many of the biggest issues, events and movements that impacted both our city and our nation in 2020. He has selected some of his favorite images from the moments he captured, and the editor-in-chief may have thrown in a couple of extras just for fun (don’t tell Jordan). Here they are.

COVID-19, Quarantine, and the Economic Shutdown

Jordan Somers | The Seattle Collegian A grocery store worker in Seattle’s Capitol Hill wearing a mask before a no mask-no entry policy was enforced by the state.
Jordan Somers | The Seattle Collegian An estimated 4,000 businesses closed down temporarily or permanently in wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases and ordinance imposed by Governor Jay Inslee.
Jordan Somers A playground is taped off following the surge in nationwide COVID-19 cases.
Jordan Somers A passerby walks by an artist and their mural amid a city-wide mural renaissance that arose in wake of businesses boarding up their windows.
Jordan Somers A message of unity and support graces the marquee of the Majestic Bay theater. The other side reads “We got this Seattle, reel magic will return”.
Jordan Somers A storefront in northwest Seattle offers a message of encouragement and hope.

Black Lives Matter Protests

Jordan Somers Police and National Guard are deployed in downtown Seattle on day two of turbulent protests following George Floyd’s killing at the hands of police.
Jordan Somers The SPD forms a line in downtown Seattle on day three of protests following the police killing of George Floyd.
Jordan Somers Umbrellas became both symbol and shield in response to SPD’s consistent use of flash bangs, tear gas and pepper spray on protestors.
Jordan Somers A protestor walks away from a police and National Guard-patrolled area of Downtown Seattle where tear gas and flash bangs had just been used to disperse protestors. 
Jordan Somers Protestors react to tear gas and flash bangs used by SPD on the final night of protests before the initiation of CHOP.
Jordan Somers Protestors held myriad signs decrying systematic racism and police brutality.
Jordan Somers A protestor shouts his frustrations to a line of police officers and National guard who had recently dispersed all protestors from Downtown Seattle.
Jordan Somers A young boy gazes upon the march while sitting atop his father’s shoulders during the post-election Protect Every Life rally and march.
Jordan Somers Protestors clasp hands and hold a rose on the front line of a police blockade on Pine Street and 11th Avenue on day 5 of protests.
Jordan Somers A trumpet player and protestor plays music during the post-election Protect Every Life march.

The 2020 Presidential Election

Jordan Somers Protestors march down Thomas Street alongside the mobile caravan on election night.
Jordan Somers Protestors and residents assemble in the newly formed Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ).
Jordan Somers Election night. Police arrive at the scene in droves after following a separate, converging activist group, Every Night Direct Demonstration (ENDD Seattle – @ENDDSeattle), on Mercer Street.  The police began to rush both rallies from behind, arresting eight total demonstrators in the process.
Jordan Somers Members of the ENDD burn a Donald Trump flag atop the pyramid fountain at Cal Anderson Park on election night.
Jordan Somers  Protestors hold signs emphasizing the ongoing fight against police brutality and systemic racism.
Jordan Somers  Protestors hold signs emphasizing the ongoing fight against police brutality and systemic racism.

The Unhoused Community Crisis and Sweeps

Jordan Somers A bike officer with his bicycle unit shouting at protestors to leave Cal Anderson Park.
Jordan Somers A protestor waves a small sign toward police officers that reads “Housing 1st” on the opposite end and “No Sweeps” on the other, during the SPD sweep of Cal Anderson park.
Jordan Somers Protestors showed their support for the houseless community and condemnation for the police sweep.
Jordan Somers The sun shines through a Pride flag planted amidst an unhoused encampment at Cal Anderson park

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The Photographer’s Editorial Self-Portrait of his year

Jordan Somers Jordan Somers, the author of all above images

Jordan Somers is currently in his second year of Visual Media at Seattle Central College. He specializes in photojournalism and documentary work, with a particular emphasis on social movements happening throughout the city. His 2020 documentary, Hope is Not Cancelled, was an official selection at the Local Sightings Film Festival, and won an award for best editing at the Oregon Documentary Film Festival. Jordan is an avid traveler when granted the opportunity, and has a keen interest in psychology and existential philosophy.

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