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. With the recent rise of virtual reality technologies, masks are used to hide the real world from the wearer, whose face, in turn, is hidden behind the headgear. 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 again, I've gathered a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their faces for a wide variety of reasons.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: 6/17–6/23

    A heatwave in Europe, floating solar farms in China, the America’s Cup in Bermuda, the Royal Highland Show in Scotland, and much more

  • Anthony Wallace / AFP / Getty

    Scenes From Hong Kong, 'Pearl of the Orient'

    Images of the vertical cityscape, street scenes, monuments, people, and natural landscapes of Hong Kong.

  • Library of Congress

    Go Fly a Kite

    In recognition of the warmer weather in the northern hemisphere, this is an invitation to take some time, go outside, and set a kite aloft.

  • Patricia De Melo Moreira / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Deadly Wildfires in Portugal

    Over the weekend, wildfires in central Portugal killed at least 63 people and injured 135 others.

Join the Discussion