Over the past few months, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota have successfully managed to temporary halt construction of the $3.7 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline. The subject of much debate and media coverage, one incredibly powerful and emotive photo has emerged from the site, encompassing the ongoing battle.
Ryan Vizzions, an Atlanta-based journalistic photographer, has traveled around the globe, but is currently based at the site where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are positioned. He set up the Standing Rock Rising Facebook page, which has since amassed almost 200,000 "likes." Vizzions has been attempting to spread coverage of the protest by documenting his experience through a series of photos, including pictures that show police water cannons and tear gas on protestors who are stood in freezing waters.
One photo in particular has garnered widespread media attention. Titled "Defend The Sacred," it depicts a peaceful protestor on horseback, facing a wall of police and their vehicles. The image by Vizzions has even made it into the print edition of Newsweek, and been shared quite literally tens of thousands of times across social media. Commenters have expressed their desire for it to be recognized with a Pulitzer Prize.