Versha Sharma's great piece in Vocativ on the weapons of Ukrainian protestors, which she describes as "like a recreation of Braveheart built in a DIY store," caps off a year of powerful imagery from protestors and warfighters around the world. From the French action in Mali to the Syrian James Bond we've had a good cross-section of where the utilitarian necesseties of fighting meet the visual theatre of combat and the desire to appear intimidating, professional or simply righteous in an age of ubiquitous media coverage. Some choices are largely for show (wearing forest camouflage in an urban theatre may be counterproductive) and some essentially functional (ski masks provide more than just anonymity in sub-zero temperatures). Ultimately there's no perfect fit for facing tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets.

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