I was days away from turning eight at the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 3 - 4, 1989. Little did I know 11 years and one month later I would stand on the stones that were once bloodied from the conviction of students. Or that I would be employed in the city that the tanks originated from.
Charlie Cole, Stuart Franklin, Jeff Widener and Arthur Tsang Hin Wah all captured similar images of the anonymous tank man who became the symbol of dissent from the Chinese government at the time. Five floors up, with a 300 or 400 mm lens. In 2009, however, a fifth photographer came forward. Terril Jones. His version of the event was quite different as his point of view was captured at eye level. He shared in an email to the New York Times,
"Adrenaline and the drive to stay close to the action took me back to the street on June 5. I was in front of the Beijing Hotel and I could hear tanks revving up and making their way toward us from Tiananmen. I went closer to the street and looked down Changan Avenue over several rows of parked bicycles when another volley of shots rang out from where the tanks were, and people began ducking, shrieking, stumbling and running toward me. I lifted my camera and squeezed off a single shot before retreating back behind more trees and bushes where hundreds of onlookers were cowering. I didn’t know quite what I had taken other than tanks coming toward me, soldiers on them shooting in my direction, and people fleeing."
Interested in seeing more? Watch this raw CNN video from June 5, 1989, below: