This is as close as I could get to the Olympic Torch Ceremony
It just happen that I was working in Beijing at the same time as the official ceremony for the Olympic torch was held.
Great I though! I can go shoot the start of the 120+ day long run carrying the torch around the world before it comes back here in August..
But the reality is that I was not able to get closer than a few city blocks from tiananmen square, where the official event was happening.
Security, local and national police, undercover agents were present at all major intersections and access points preventing people from accessing the venue.
Now, I am not one to talk openly about international politics (I am doing a rather good job at keeping my opinions to myself about Tibet and HHDL considering that I am a self-declared Buddhist and I have had the privilege to photograph the Dalai Lama in 2006 which I am still in ahhh about that day.. It's a hard thing to do! But that is another story and perhaps I will say my peace about that one day!)
I just think that it is a shame for the people who took the time to come down to see the torch and were not able to actually see the ceremony (which was held in a location capable of holding 1,000,000 people and based on what I saw on TV, only a selected few where invited)
I ask myself many questions after seeing this!
Aren't the Olympics supposed to be for the people? Is this a reflection of what is coming this summer? Will I be able to take pictures around the 2008 Olympics like i did in Italy? Will I be able to act as a citizen journalist and cover the events? Will I even be able to attend any of these events?
If today's official torch ceremony is a reflection of what is to come, perhaps I'd be better off staying in Shanghai and watch the game on TV with the rest of the world!
The closest I managed to get to the Olympic Torch Ceremony today was in my room watching it live on TV despite the fact that I was no more than 100 meter away from the venue!