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 masks of cultural, political, or religious figures can ridicule them, or lend them power and further their legacy. Those who wear masks to protect their face from environmental hazards might also end up sending a message of caution to 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 again, I’ve gathered here a few recent images of people wearing masks, covering their face 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

  • Getty

    Coronavirus: Photos From Wuhan Under Quarantine

    Several photographers continue to report from Wuhan, China, where streets appear nearly deserted after a quarantine and traffic ban.

  • Marcia Straub / Getty

    Indiana: Images of the Hoosier State

    A few glimpses into the various features of Indiana, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Simon Bruty for OIS / IOC Handout via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Impeachment Trial, Virtual Singer, Bat Clinic

    The annual Women’s March in New York City, the Tour Down Under cycling event in Australia, a firefighting robot in India, anti-government protests in Iraq, the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland, and much more.

  • Carl Court / Getty

    Juhyo: The Snow Monsters on Japan’s Mount Zao

    Windblown ice and snow build up hulking shapes on the trees atop Mount Zao.