Talking Tiananmen “Tank Man”

At Lens, the New York Times’s photo blog, four photojournalists recall covering Tiananmen Square in June 1989 (h/t, NiemanLab). Fearing his work would be confiscated, Newsweek’s Charlie Cole put the roll of film on which he’d captured his version of “The Tank Man” — that image seen in so many newspapers of a young man who walked in front of a tank and stood, bringing the tank to a halt — “in a plastic film can and wrapped it in a plastic bag and attached it to the flush chain in the tank of the toilet” in his hotel. “The Tank Man“‘s identity and fate are still unclear, writes Lens’s Patrick Witty, although PBS Frontline in 2006 did a documentary exploring these questions.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.