He Will Not Divide Us

Rani Hamilton, Staff Writer

When Donald Trump was inaugurated into office on January 20, 2017, he was immediately faced with protests against his presidency. While they were not saying he should be impeached, many of the protests focused on not letting his power affect anybody’s life negatively and split the country in half. One of these protests is one that we’ve never seen before: a four-year live stream at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.

The live stream titled “He Will Not Divide Us” is a 24-hour live stream started by LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner, a trio of artists that are known for their art exhibitions since 2014. The trio includes actor Shia LaBeouf and artists Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner. “He Will Not Divide Us” began at 9 a.m. on January 20 and hundreds of people have already participated in it. One of the first participants was actor Jaden Smith, highly known today for his involvement in political activism.

Here’s the gist: You go to the Museum of Moving Images and there’s a huge wall with the words “HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US” on it. On that wall, there’s a camera. As the official website says, “the public is invited to deliver the words ‘HE WILL NOT DIVIDE US’ into [the] camera….. repeating the phrase as many times, and for as long as they wish.” In fact, Shia himself has showed up every day to say it for hours (wearing the same outfit everyday too, by the way). As you would have guessed though, this stream has been an easy target for many Trump supporters, Neo-nazis and even just trolls. There’s been lots of conflict during the stream because of this, but I would prefer to focus on the positive.

On my first night watching the stream, there was a man named Jacob standing in front of the camera repeating “He Will Not Divide Us.” He was there for a few hours with his camera, offering to take polaroids of whoever came to the exhibit. He started conversations with everyone to connect, even with the people who were pro-Trump. Sure they’re may not have been REAL bonds developing, but this was super unique to watch. So many different people of different backgrounds could unite in front of this one tiny camera and peacefully protest. No matter the weather, every time I’ve checked up on the stream, there’s always somebody there, standing for what they believe is right. It reminds you that maybe the world isn’t a complete wreck right now, and we as people can still interact with each other civilly (for the most part).

You may think it’s a waste of a time, but once you start watching, you’ll be sitting there for 2 hours. LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner have created a truly modern and unique way for people to stand up for what they believe in. I’m extremely hopeful for this stream and only hope it continues to thrive for the next 4 years.