Rivka Cocker’s photo series documents the Million Women Rise March which took place on the 10th March 2018.
This was not the first Million Women Rise march that I have attended and, as usual, the vibe was happy. It was taking place just after International Women’s Day and the rain forecast had held off. A large group (the majority of them women) were marching as a pack down Oxford-street, dominating typically male public spaces. Homemade banners together with song, cheer and angry shouts occupied the space. Pedestrians paused from Saturday afternoon shopping to clap and to record the march. One woman stood on the pavement filming us through the selfie camera on her iPad, waving enthusiastically at the live recording of us.
Walking to the front of the march, I could feel that the atmosphere was very different. Speakers holding megaphones were listing the names and ages of women victims of male violence. The crowd chanted “say her name, say her name” in response. I felt an uncomfortable juxtaposition between the tail end of the march, where I had been bopping to the samba band and the front of it where participants were left in tears. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see two young boys smirking at the scene before them and this distressed me much more than hearing the relentless list of murdered women through the megaphone. Were they that ignorant? The ability of street protests to not only radically transform public spaces but to simultaneously support the performance of celebration, solidarity and anger has always intrigued me.
This photo series captures the diverse array of people, placards and actions I saw on the Million Women Rise march in London on the 10th of March 2018.