robert croma


The lost Tiananmen Square photos of Robert Croma: looking back 25 years later.

“On the evening of the 3rd June, I was halfway through a meal in the Beijing Hotel when troops began their final assault on Tiananmen. I grabbed my cameras, food unfinished and went out into the night. Tear gas already hung heavy in the streets. I saw much bloodshed, trauma and atrocity over the next few hours. I was beaten several times, once trying to prevent an attack by an angry mob upon a young soldier. I also lost many rolls of film to what I assumed were plain clothed security personnel who frisked me and beat me about the face and body for taking pictures of injured troops. It was a toxic working environment. Dangerous, forlorn and unpredictable. By morning it was virtually over. The streets were littered with the detritus of riot, mayhem and death. Tiananmen Square was back in the control of the authorities. The protests had ended. The rest, as they say, was history.” – Robert Croma