Behind the Image: Glodi Miessi’s portrait of defiance -

Photography in the Metaverse

Photography in the Metaverse

Behind the Image: Glodi Miessi’s portrait of defiance

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Now on sale as part of ART3’s Edition365 NFT collection, Miessi’s image – taken during London’s Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020 – represents a collective refusal to ignore the “brutal reality” of racism any longer

In 2020, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement shook the world. Anger had long been building over the pattern of state-sanctioned brutality toward Black people in America: on 23 February 2020, three white men shot and killed 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia (but no arrests were made until a video of the incident went viral in May). On 15 March, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor was murdered by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. On 25 May, 46-year-old George Floyd suffocated under the knee of officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests began to spread around the globe like wildfire. People came out in their masses — not just to oppose the tragic deaths of Arbery, Taylor, Floyd, and all those that came before them, but to demand a reckoning for the racism ingrained in our systems more widely. British-Congolese photographer Glodi Miessi turned his lens to the London protests in the summer, and one of his images – powerfully framing three clenched fists suspended in the air – is currently on sale as an NFT in collaboration with ART3.

“2020 was marked by the global Covid pandemic, but also by the virus of racism,” reflects Miessi. “Confided to our homes, the world was unable to ignore the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd (to name a few).” Miessi’s photograph is one of 365 artworks that make up Edition365: a major virtual exhibition and NFT collection documenting the events between 11 March 2020 and 10 March 2021.

After taking many images of the London BLM protests, Miessi struggled to find one that truly captured what it meant to be there: the sheer emotion and defiance emanating from the crowd, particularly given the UK was under national lockdown at the time. Months later, he decided to crop a wider shot of a large group of protestors. “The arms were of three Black people – all strangers – beside me,” he recounts. Together, they represent the solidarity that came to define 2020.

“This moment represents a refusal to ignore this brutal reality any longer,” Miessi says, resolutely. “A coming together against the barbaric treatment of people of colour, as well as giving a voice to the voiceless: other marginalised and disenfranchised groups such as women, trans people, Roma people, travellers and the homeless.” 

Glodi Miessi’s image is part of Edition365, an immersive virtual exhibition of 365 works documenting the events between 11 March 2020 and 10 March 2021. 

The image is now available to buy as an NFT via on OpenSea.