includes personalizing content and advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of
Standing on a hotel balcony on the edge of Tiananmen Square in China, photographer Jeff Widener didn’t realize what he was about to capture would become one of the most iconic images in the world.
Almost 30 years on, he recalls how his “Tank Man” photo almost didn’t happen.
The photographer, who was shooting for The Associated Press, had suffered a blow to his head from a rock the night before, as he covered the violence and killing unfolding in Beijing.
“I was nervous, I was scared from the previous night,” he said.
The Chinese regime turned violent against student protesters in Tiananmen Square in June 1989 and civilians were killed en masse.
“I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I was hit with a rock the night before. I waited for them to shoot him, but they didn’t shoot him. Waiting and waiting and waiting.”