1992 Los Angeles Uprisings

1992 Los Angeles Uprisings

Angela Chung, Kristina Williams, Tom Robisheaux


Type: Lab

1992 Los Angeles Uprisings

Spring 2020

Angela decided to combine two of her key interests into one project: media representation and racial triangulation. Using the 1992 LA Uprisings (more commonly knowns as the LA Riots) as the foundation, she looks at photographs used to document the tumultuous events leading to and during this time. Her questions circled around how visual aspects of journalism play a role in shaping the narratives of an event. While this specific project used only photos from white media – the LA Times – the intent is to be able to gather significant data from African-American and Korean-American news as well. Her goal is to compare how from the different points of the racial triangulation (white, black, and Asian) the various groups are (or are not) represented in during an era where the conflicts were commonly viewed as extremely racialized.

Riots of 1992

Summer 2020

Angela explores the events of the Los Angeles “Riots” of 1992 through the lens of photographic coverage in newspapers at the time. Rather than attempting to retell the story, her research focuses on identifying the common narrative and how it was shaped largely by media at the time. Because images play such a large role in solidifying imagery of events as factual occurrences, it is worth discussing how biases have influenced the production of such images, and how images in turn perpetuate certain ideologies. Framed within the context of the current surges in the Black Lives Matter movement, this project suggests re-evaluating this common public narrative history, not just about the 1992 riots but protests and disturbances for racial justice in general. What sort of myths did photojournalism solidify? Is it possible for there to be a singular, objective telling of the events as photojournalism has tried to do?

Project Website