Stephen Swofford Stephen Swofford

A freelance photojournalist in the Denver metro area and abroad, I've worked in Hong Kong and Moscow, and am currently developing stories in Ukraine, Denmark, Congo, and Brazil. New to international work, I'm constantly seeking funding to pursue more projects and trying to find more contacts for international work.

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420 Celebrations in Denver
USA, Denever
By Stephen Swofford
19 Apr 2014

80,000 people gathered to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado. The annual 4/20 festival in Denver takes place at the Civic Center park in front of the Capitol, and lasts two days. As Colorado legalized the use of recreational marijuana on january 1, many people were expected at this year 4/20 festival.

The festival has been going on for years and its first goal was to support the legalization of marijuana. It was mostly attended by marijuana activists.

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, it is still illegal to smoke it in public. But during the festival, the police allows the smoke-out to happen and is mainly there for security and to keep the smokers inside the park area. Traditionally, all attendees light up at 4.20pm.

The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building.

Media created

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420 Celebrations in Denver 15
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

The view of the capitol building from Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival. Police made their presence known at the event, but were lenient on enforcement. People were searched before entering the festival area and no bags were allowed inside it.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 16
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A man who wished to stay nameless smokes a giant joint in Civic Center Park during the annual 4/20 festival. The two-days festival attracted 80,000 people in Denver this year : on january 1st, Colorado legalized the use of "recreational marijuana".

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420 Celebrations in Denver 14
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Attendees dance in the auditorium at Civic Center Park during the annual 4/20 festival. The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building in downtown Denver.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 13
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Christopher Pha enjoys a quiet moment away from the 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver. The festival area is fenced and two stages are set up with a number of bands and kiosks in front of the Capitol building.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 12
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Rod rides his home-made motorized recliner through Civic Center Park during 4/20 celebrations in Denver. 80,000 people attended the two-days festival as marijuana is now legal in Colorado.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 11
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert-goers smoke in front of the Denver Court building during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park, in front of Denver Capitol.
Attendees traditionnally light up at 4.20 pm, while attending concerts.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 10
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Cory coughs smoke at 4:20 during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Downtown Denver.

The festival started to support legalization of marijuana and attendees were mostly marijuana activists. This year the event has an official city permit. It is organized by an events management company. Kiosks selling Greek good, lollipops and glass pipes are now everywhere.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 9
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert-goers smoke in front of the Denver Court building during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park, in front of Denver Capitol.
Colorado has legalized marijuana for "recreational use" in private places on January, 1st. The festival has been going on for year and its first goal was to support the legalization of marijuana.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 8
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A graffiti artist known as "Elvis" paints a mural in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival.
The festival is not only a place to smoke marijuana in front of the Capitol. There are many concerts and cultural events taking place during two days.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 7
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Rod rides his home-made motorized recliner through Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in Denver.

Denver police declared they issued 47 citations for public marijuana consumption : despite marijuana being legalized, it is still illegal to smoke it in public.
Denver Health Medical Center paramedics declared they treated 14 people : most of them had passed out because of a mix of substance use and sun.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 6
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Quincy smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver. For years, the festival had aimed at supporting the legalization of marijuana. In a statement, one of the organizers said that the event is now a "celebration of legal status for its use in Colorado and our launch of an exciting new experience for those attending.".

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420 Celebrations in Denver 5
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Concert goers pass around a giant bong during 4/20 festival in Civic Center Park in Denver. This year has witnessed a big shift in the festival organization, with more police and more merchandise. The festival used to be a gathering of marijuana activist demanding its legalization.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 4
By Stephen Swofford
21 Apr 2014

A man burns a giant joint during 4/20 in Civic Center park in Denver. At 4.20 pm, all attendees light up.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 1
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A young man smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver.
Festival-goers said that policemen were more present this year than the past ones. The area was fenced, with entry points where attendees were patted down and bags checked. Some streets were also closed. A shooting marred the festival last year, hence the highest number of security guards patrolling the venue.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 3
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

A man who wished to stay nameless smokes a giant joint in Civic Center Park during the annual 4/20 festival. 80,000 people gathered to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado.

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420 Celebrations in Denver 2
By Stephen Swofford
20 Apr 2014

Quincy smokes from a gigantic joint in Civic Center Park during 4/20 festival in downtown Denver. Although recreational marijuana is now legal in Colorado, it is still illegal to smoke it in public. But during the festival, the police allow the smoke-out to happen and are mainly there for security and to keep the smokers inside the park area.

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Communist March 1
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation goes ahead of the group as they march through downtown Moscow calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 2
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation march through downtown Moscow calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 3
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A demonstrator holds up a portrait of Lenin and Stalin during the Communist Party of the Russian Federation's annual march through downtown Moscow calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 4
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation march through downtown Moscow on the anniversary of the October Revolution calling for a return to Communism in Russia.

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Communist March 5
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation march past the federal Duma in Moscow during their annual march calling for a return to Communism on the anniversary of the October Revolution.

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Communist March 6
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A demonstrator argues with the police over his right to bring a sickle to the Communist Party of the Russian Federation's annual march through Moscow calling for a return to Communism on the anniversary of the October revolution.

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Communist March 7
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation march through Moscow on the anniversary of the October Revolution calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 8
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation hands out flyers at the start of the group's annual march through Moscow calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 9
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (КПРФ) pass through metal detectors at the start of their annual march on the anniversary of the October Revolution. Demonstrators called for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 10
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Demonstrators carry a portrait of Lenin during the annual march through Moscow calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 11
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

Members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (кпрф) march through Moscow on the anniversary of the October revolution calling for a return to Communism.

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Communist March 12
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A street vendor sells communist literature and buttons outside the start of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation's annual march through central Moscow. Protestors called for a return to Communism on the anniversary of the Red October revolution.

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Communist March 13
Moscow, Russia
By Stephen Swofford
06 Nov 2013

A demonstrator gives a clench-fisted salute while shaking out a communist flag during the Communist Party of Russian Federation's annual march calling on Russia's to return to Communism.