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 more, 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

  • Romeo Gacad / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Mammoth Swing, Stanley Cup, Frog Wedding

    Art Basel displays in Switzerland, a volcanic eruption in North Sumatra, massive protests in Hong Kong, the L.A. Pride Festival in California, jackaroo and jillaroo school in Australia, and much more

  • Marmittes / Shutterstock

    The Cold War Bunkers of Albania

    The paranoid worldview of Enver Hoxha, the leader of Albania during the Cold War, led to a massive “bunkerization” project that resulted in the building of nearly 175,000 concrete bunkers across the country.

  • Christian Hartmann / Reuters

    Photos: Fans of the 2019 Women’s World Cup

    Less than a week into the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 14 of the scheduled 52 games have already been played by some of the 24 national teams at stadiums in nine cities across France.

  • Dale De La Rey / AFP / Getty

    Photos: Massive Protests in Hong Kong

    Organizers claim that more than 1 million demonstrators took to the streets to denounce a proposed bill that would allow extradition to China and undercut Hong Kong’s independence.