Monday, September 17, 2012

The most iconic images of the 80's

1.Tank Man, 1989

The most iconic image of the Tiananmen Square massacre, this picture depicts the important “unknown rebel” standing in front of the tanks that threatened a peaceful protest in China. Jeff Widener snapped this image.

2.“Tear down this wall”, 1987

Speaking in front of the Brandenburg Gate in 1987, this image captures President Reagan making his powerful speech demanding Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Two years later that’s exactly what would happen.

3.Afghan Girl, 1984

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry shot this iconic image of Sharbat Gula, a 12-year old Afghan girl. She was one of the students in an informal school within the refugee camp and her haunting face, a rarity to be so fully showcased, much less photographed, made it on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. Sharbat’s image captured the imagination of generations the world-over, becoming a symbol of the 1980 Afghan conflict and plight of refugees.

4.The Reagan assassination attempt, 1981

The Reagan assassination attempt occurred on March 30, 1981, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in D.C., when John Hinckley Jr. opened fire on Reagan and three others. After the shooting, Reagan was thrown into the limousine, unaware that he had been shot. He only realized this when he coughed up blood and discovered that his lung had been punctured.

5.Omayra Sanchez, 1985

Omayra Sanchez was one of the 25,000 victims of the November 14, 1985 volcano eruption in Colombia. The 13-year old had been trapped in water and concrete for three days and this image was taken shortly before she died. The haunting image caused worldwide controversy because of the Colombian government’s lack of response to the tragedy.

6.Death of Indira Gandhi, 1984

On 31 October 1984, India’s first female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, was shot dead by her Sikh bodyguards in the garden of her residence. The assassination was in retaliation of Operation Blue Star, where armed Indian guards forcefully entered a sacred Sikh temple. This image depicts her cremation ceremony, significant because it gave rise to the proliferation of anti-Sikh sentiments. Subsequently, millions of Sikhs were rendered homeless and burnt alive.

7.Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, 1986

The Chernobyl disaster occurred in April 1986 after an explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine. The explosion and fire released large quantities of radioactive material into the atmosphere, which spread over much of Western USSR and Europe. This iconic image shows the depth of the devastation.

8.The fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989

After two decades of its iron separation of East and West Germany, the Berlin Wall finally fell on the evening of November 9, 1989. People gathered around the wall to see if it had actually fallen, and the border guards, who had no explicit instructions on what to do, let them through. Mass jubilation ensued.

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