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A History of Protest and the Marjorie Zien Collection

Greenwich Village resident and photographer Marjorie Zien has spent the last several decades chronicling life in her neighborhood and city. In 2021 she donated a collection of photos to Village Preservation taken throughout our neighborhoods in the aftermath of 9/11. In 2023 she donated to us a new collection of photos, which you can view here, that she took between 2020 and 2022, a period of intense pressure and protest in our neighborhoods in response to the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, the 2020 election, and various other social issues. This collection is now the latest addition to our now 4,500-strong historic image archive.

The Stonewall Inn, 2020

Locations in Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo have long been sites for political activism, and for efforts to advance movements for human rights and social change. The years 2020-2022 were no exception, and perhaps a particularly intense period in our recent history for doing so.

Zien’s images poignantly and sharply capture the anger, the grief, the sadness, the resolve, the creativity, care, destruction, and gratitude so prominently on display during that period. Most were shot in or near Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. 

Washington Square Park, June 19, 2020

In June, 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement and Pride Month combined to highlight racism and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, specifically against Black trangender people.

Masked “Gay Liberation” Statues, Christopher Park. December 2020

These are just a few examples of LGBTQ+-related activism captured by Zien in this collection. Click here to see the full collection.

For more images connected to LGBTQ+ life and activism in our neighborhoods, check out our Jillian Jonas Collections of Downtown Drag + Performance in the 1990s Part I and Part II, and the Robert Fisch collection, which includes images of LGBTQ+ life and celebrations in Greenwich Village from the early 1980s through the early 2000s.

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