The Masks We Wear

We wear masks for many reasons: for fun, for protection, or to make a statement. In turbulent public settings, obscuring one's face can protect an individual from retaliation while evoking fear and uncertainty in others. Donning the mask of a cultural, political, or religious figure can lend that person power and further his or her legacy. Those who wear masks to protect their faces from environmental hazards may also end up sending a message of caution to outside observers. In many cases, though, masks play a more lighthearted role, allowing the wearer to take part in a festival and become someone (or something) else for a time. Once more, I've gathered here a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their faces for a wide variety of reasons.

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Most Recent

  • AFP / Getty

    Iranian High-rise Collapses in Huge Fire, Killing Dozens

    A fire engulfed a landmark building in Tehran, Iran, this morning, leading to a complete collapse that may have killed as many as 30 people, including many firefighters.

  • Raul Arboleda / AFP / Getty

    FARC Guerrillas Demobilizing in Colombia

    AFP photographer Raul Arboleda recently spent time at a FARC camp, observing daily life as the rebels demobilize and prepare to move into the next phase of their lives.

  • Mark Makela / Reuters

    The Selling of the Presidents 2017

    The Hall of Presidents and First Ladies in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, recently closed down, auctioning off its collection of life-size wax figures of U.S. presidents.

  • Angela Jimenez

    Winning the Race Against Time

    Age can’t keep these senior track and field athletes from the finish line

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