Peress's first photographs, which portrayed the aftermath of a labor dispute in a French coal mining town in 1970, marked what has become his lifelong social commitment as a photographer. After joining Magnum Photos, the prestigious agency founded by Robert Capa, he headed to Northern Ireland in 1971 to document the Irish civil rights struggle. Here, Peress captures a riot on William Street in Derry, a ritual site of confrontation between the Irish and English that would become forever infamous after the events of "Bloody Sunday," January 30, 1972, when British troops sprayed tear gas and opened fire on demonstrators. Through its taut immediacy and powerful sense of the opposition between machine and man, the photograph is an iconic depiction of modern street warfare.
Inscription: Signed verso print in pencil.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 3," October 3, 1993–March 1, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 35," June 24, 2003–October 19, 2003.
Pro-Republican activists storming British Army "Pig". The ritual riot on William Street is occurs in the same place where riots have occurred for over twenty years. British soldiers accidentally shot off tear gas in the vehicle.