Too close for comfort

Here is a photograph from my personal archives from 1998. While on a business trip to Taipei, Taiwan, I was fortunate to be able to celebrate the National day of the Republic of China/ Double Tenth Day.

During festivities near the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall a peaceful anti-missile protest attracted Taipei Police. The methodical way in which police arrived to the protest, and deployed staff with extra-long batons, caught my attention. No need for body worn video cameras back then by police, the widespread adoption of smart phones and social media were still a good 6-7  years away in most countries.

Courtesy: Katina Michael's personal archives

Courtesy: Katina Michael's personal archives

Stupidly, I got within 1 metre to take this photograph. I remember crouching down to get a good cascading view of all the police, and then realised I was a little too close for comfort.

Looking back I was young, naive, and could have found myself in hot water, although I found the Taiwanese people to be incredibly friendly and welcoming... There is a fine line between witness and provocation. People with cameras can sometimes overstep the mark.