Divided: Scenes from Inauguration 2021 Gallery
In Divided: Scenes from Inauguration 2021, photojournalist Barry Goldstein captures the mood in the Capitol leading up to and during the Inauguration. Through documentary photography, portraiture, and interviews, Goldstein conveys the sense of uncertainty — and division — surrounding one of the most important traditions in our Republic.
National Guard Lieutenant
Lieutenant in charge of a national guard squad stationed at Logan Square and his corporal (left).
Identification of each soldier consisted of a number hand-written on green duct-tape. No name tags were visible, and soldiers had been instructed not to give names. The lieutenant stated that he could only give the origin of his unit as “The Midwest."
Several of the soldiers asked me what I thought might happen on inauguration day. The corporal had several clips of ammunition in his vest, but no weapons were visible. When I asked why, the leader said he couldn’t comment on this, or his mission, and politely referred me to the Public Affairs Officer for the deployment.
Two soldiers from a unit “from Pennsylvania” at a checkpoint about 1/2 mile north of the capitol. Both weapons and clips were visible, but the weapons were not loaded. The corporal on the left was the only one with a visible name tag.
Sarah Baxter and Jez Couslon
Sarah Baxter of the London Sunday Times. During Barack Obama’s first inauguration, she sat within yards of the president. When this image was made, she and her photographer Jez Coulson had just been denied entrance to the “green zone.” Over the past several months, Sarah and Jez have done extensive coverage of the Proud Boys.
“It’s very disturbing to see a new president inaugurated in what looks like a bit of a war zone, but it does presage an absolute break with the previous era.”
Read Sarah's piece on the Proud Boys at The Times.
View Jez Coulson's work on his website.
Performance Artist Taunts Soldiers
Performance artist “Crackhead Barney” attempting to provoke national guard troops at K and 14th streets. The young soldiers maintained their composure and did not engage her.
Law Enforcement Stands at the Ready
Law enforcement officers patrol the D.C. streets ahead of the inauguration.
This man said he found it to be very challenging to be a Biden supporter in Texas. He traveled to the inauguration in D.C. to show his support for the incoming administration.
Biden Harris Shirt
Celebratory inauguration memorabilia for sale on the streets of Washington, D.C.
A self-described “Black Lives Matter activist” at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration.
Desolate Pennsylvania Avenue
A lone man walks along Pennsylvania Avenue on Wednesday, January 20th, which would normally be crowded with throngs of people during inaugurations of years past.
Security Along Pennsylvania Avenue
Security forces line the street along Pennsylvania Avenue on Wednesday, January 20th, a few blocks down from Trump Hotel, and route of inauguration parades of years past.
A souvenir of the inauguration for sale by a street vendor.
"46" Street Chalk Art
The number “46,” representing Joseph Biden as the 46th President of the United States, rendered in chalk on the street at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington D.C. on the day of the inauguration.
Haruyo Miyamoto, Correspondent covering the inauguration in Washington for Tokyo Broadcasting System News in Japan.
“[Trump is] very popular among some Japanese people… Still today, there are some Japanese people who think that President-elect Biden wasn’t elected fair and square.”
Chipboard window barriers protecting businesses were ubiquitous throughout downtown Washington, D.C.
Long-time DC residents Joel Selanikio, his wife Miaochun, and son Kai live about one mile from the Whitehouse. This will be Joel’s fourth inauguration. They have no immediate plans to move.
"With the Capital riot, people felt like these are folks who are trying… to overthrow the government... I think I’ll sleep OK tonight, but at the same time you think 'that could never happen here, until the moment when it actually does.’ "
Mexican artist Roberto Marquez. The flag he carries is 25 feet long and is missing its stars, which he says is a commentary on immigration policy in the United States.
An organizer of the inauguration rally at Black Lives Matter plaza, who maintains and protects the area from desecration.
Soldiers Patrol D.C. Streets
National Guardsmen from across the nation patrol the streets of Washington, D.C. ahead of the inauguration on January 20th, 2021.
Truck Barrier on K Street
Truck barrier on K street the day before the inauguration. Several of these barriers were present along K street.
Gear used by soldiers and law enforcement stands at the ready to be pressed into service if needed.
Kaleed and Ahmed from Al Arabiya News
Kaleed and Ahmed are journalists reporting on the inauguration for Al Arabiya News Outlet. Kaleed (right, wearing mask) was struck by rioters while covering the siege on the U.S. Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.
A Black Lives Matter supporter at the inauguration rally at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, D.C., he says he wears his spikes “to protect black lives.”
Michigan Biden Supporter
This supporter of President Biden traveled to Washington, D.C. from Michigan for the inauguration.
For Her Father
This woman came to the inauguration in Washington, D.C. to honor her father, a veteran who was a Biden supporter. She is wearing his military dog tags.
Freelance photographer James Townsend covered the inauguration of Joe Biden. He photographed and videoed the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
See James' photography on his Instagram page.
DC Resident since 1999, at his encampment.
“I’m homeless. I struggle every day.”
Q: Reaction to all the police and military?
“It makes me feel a little safer. That’s for sure. ‘Cause when people get together, and they’re all angry, there gonna bust up everything.”
Q: Thoughts about the change in administration?
“I don’t do none of this stuff. Its gonna all work itself out with or without me. It aint gonna affect me, ‘cause I don’t live in the same time zone as everyone else. I’m not normal, I don’t live a normal life [but] I think it’ll be good for the country.”
Performance Artist Crackhead Barney Portrait
Performance artist “Crackhead Barney” harangued guard troopers at K and 14th streets, often from only a few inches away. The soldiers ignored her. She picked up the dead rat she’s holding off the street just prior to being photographed.
Gas mask worn by an unknown bystander at Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington D.C.
Watches over the Black Lives Matter memorial fence at BLM Plaza, Washington, D.C.
Pennsylvania Troop Deployment
Soldiers from a Pennsylvania guard unit at a vehicle barrier at K and 7th streets the day before the inauguration. The woman on the left normally works in logistics. This was her first field deployment.
Fear Less Love More
Protestors hold signs in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
D.C. resident Daniel Kingery, who makes his home in McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., advocates for “honest government” during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Black Lives Matter advocates Nadine Seiler (right) and unknown friend rally at the Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
Metropolitan Police Officers
Members of the Metropolitan Police in DC patrol the D.C. streets ahead of the inauguration.
Wonder Woman and Friends
Bystanders, including an unnamed person in a “Wonder Woman” mask, rally at the Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.
A supporter at the Black Lives Matter plaza in Washington, D.C. during the inauguration of President Joe Biden.