Amanda Mustard is a Cairo based, self-taught photojournalist who has been covering the ongoing Egyptian revolution for almost two years. She is a member of Wonderful Machine, and is currently with Redux, Polaris and ZUMA Press. Here are her tips for covering protests (especially for women):
- Always outweigh risks vs. benefits.
- Never go into protests alone and have someone keep an eye on you.
- Get some self defense training before you go.
- Keep your guard up at all times.
- Stay tuned via Twitter.
- Wear baggy clothes to hide your female figure as much as possible.
- Use a plateless Flack jacket under a baggy shirt to flatten body and make it difficult to be groped.
- Get first aid training (like RISC)
- Wear a belt inside-out. In case of attempted sexual assault, it makes it harder for attackers to remove your clothes.
- A one-piece bathing suit under your clothes is an extra layer of protection against sexual assault.
- Cover your head – If most women cover their hair, you should. Amanda uses a beanie because “it’s harder to spot in a crowd than a ponytail of auburn hair.”
- “Make yourself as unattractive as possible.”
- Boots that are comfortable enough to run in, but high enough to avoid stepping in human feces. (Especially in protests that can go on for days.)
- Know your place and play the naive girl card if you need to.
- And always remember “You have nothing to prove. Work within your comfort zone. There may be something happening behind the front lines that isn’t being covered, and that may be far more important.”
For more on Amanda Mustard read: Reality of a Protest