In the summer of 2020, in the throes of a global pandemic, Los Angeles- like the rest of the U.S. was consumed with protests in reaction to the extra-judicial murder of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police.

…there’ll be no peace

Having arrived home in Los Angeles, exhausted after a turbulent year working on the streets of Hong Kong; I anticipated a quiet summer spent in the warm embrace of friends and family. What I found was a long-overdue reckoning over the conduct and methods of American policing. The streets of America, like those of France, Hong Kong, Sudan, and, many other countries around the world were filled with angry citizens demanding systemic change from the power structures within their respective societies; each motivated by their own set of injustices. I found Streets fogged in tear gas, overrun with police…

Covering Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Protests on Bergger Pancro 400

[Panco 400] Shoot Me: Prince Edward, Hong Kong: An elderly woman presents herself to riot police perched on the roof of Mong Kong Police Station, imploring them to shoot her and not the protestors. Hong Kongers took to rain soaked streets in defiance of the new law banning masks in public. October 6, 2019-Hong Kong-Photo by Aaron Guy Leroux/ Sipa USA

Pancro 400 may not be very well known to people outside the world of 35mm film shooters, but after seeing a review on it from the (now mulleted) George Muncey of Negative Feedback , I was intrigued.

I shot my first frames of Pancro, not on the streets of Hong Kong but among friends and family in Los Angeles, CA.

The Anti-Extradition protests on Fuji 400H

[Fuji 400H] Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong: Riot police march in formation to clear Nathan Rd. September 6, 2019-Hong Kong-Photo by Aaron Guy Leroux

I didn’t love the Fuji 400H. I know it has its adherents, but not my favorite film. However, it certainly seemed to come alive at night. It was hard to shoot in low-light of course, but when I had time to set up and get a good exposure the results were impressive. I really loved how it rendered colors at night…it made me wish it did as good a job in daylight.

In June of 2019, as I began to cover Hong Kong’s Anti Extradition protests in earnest; I made the decision to shoot on both film and digital. At the time, I was armed only with a Leica M6 that I had procured in a quaint little camera shop in Rome. It was a rare moment for me, as a photojournalist, to have a little money in my pocket and grappa in my veins. I had certainly found myself ensorceled by Rome, like many a traveler before me. …

The first day of 2020 looked a lot like many of the days that made up 2019. Protestors took to the streets of Hong Kong in the tens of thousands to once again demonstrate their resolve.

Wan Chai, Hong Kong: Protestors jump a small barrier in the street as they organize in preparation for a confrontation with the police. On the first day of 2020 Hong Kongers made their intentions for the new year known, by taking the streets by the tens of thousands. January 1, 2020-Hong Kong-Photo by Aaron Guy Leroux

In my small portion of the day, which I spent in Wan Chai, Central and Causeway Bay there was a largely peaceful demonstration…until the sun went down and the riot police took the opportunity to get on the offensive. The South China Morning Post has reported that some 400 people were arrested in the area last night.

I found myself at the eastern edge…

The Greek island of Lesbos is a prison. It didn’t mean to be. It wanted to be a vacation destination, and for many years it was just that. Then in late 2015 the refugee crisis happened and Lesbos became a way point for refugees from the Middle East and North Africa making their way towards Western Europe and away from war and famine…and then the borders closed. There was no going back, and now there was now no way forward. …

It began as a rumor. I had been on Lesbos for only one week. I’d come to see for myself what the so called “Syrian Refugee Crisis” looked like for people on this island. I’d come to see Moria which had grown infamous in the proceeding months. In my short time there I had made acquaintances on both coasts of the island; from business owners, to locals who had simply lived through the worst of the crisis, to independent volunteers who had left their respective countries to come and help in anyway they could. The end point of my daily…

Aaron Guy Leroux

Photojournalist & Documentary Photographer / Member NPPA & NHJA / University of the Arts London alumnus

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store