Today is Guy Fawkes Day. This British holiday — honoring the capture and subsequent hanging of the eponymous conspirator — has definitively dropped its violent origins. Indeed, ever since Fawkes and his fellow Gunpowder Plot comrades failed to blow up Parliament and King James I in 1605, Britons happily celebrate the Catholic's demise with fireworks, flaming effigies, and general revelry every 5th of November.
Guy Fawkes (1570-1606) plants gunpowder in the cellar of the Palace of Westminster. | (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Fawkes' second coming as a mask was aided by V for Vendetta, a graphic novel authored throughout the 1980s and turned into a feature film in 2005.
And while the angular white-and-black creation has been appropriated by protesters in America, Egypt, and beyond, Fawkes isn't the only face of public demonstration. Here, a selection of protest masks from South Korea to Brazil that say so much more than words.
A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask watches a demonstration by the 'Indignant' group in Rome on October 15, 2011. Demonstrators rallied against bankers and politicians they accused of wrecking economies. | (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)
A protester marches in Bucharest, Romania, against a Canadian gold mining project on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013. | (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Aqua Etefia holds up a Trayvon Martin mask at a "Justice for Trayvon" rally on July 20, 2013, in Miami. | (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A student protester gestures during a rally demanding Chile's government reform the education system in Santiago on May 8, 2013. | (REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)
Miners take pictures near barricades of burning tires on the second day of a strike protesting the government's mining sector spending cuts, in El Montico, northern Spain, on May 24, 2012. | (REUTERS/Eloy Alonso)
An anti-government protester wears protection from tear gas as he faces riot police near Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government house in Bangkok on November 24, 2012. | (REUTERS/Damir Sagolj)
A Palestinian holds a bunch of flowers as he kicks a rock after clashes with Israeli security officers (unseen) at a protest against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on November 30, 2012. | (REUTERS/Marko Djurica)
Amnesty International Korea activists wear masks of Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, during a rally demanding that Egypt's military-backed interim government stop using excessive force against Egyptians. | (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
An indigenous man marches in support of teachers on strike in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Monday, Oct. 7, 2013. | (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A man protests the slaughter of pigs for human consumption during a demonstration for World Animal Day in Caracas, Venezuela, on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. | (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
An environmental activist in London calls for an end to the expansion of the Camisea gas project in Peru's Amazon rainforest, which opponents say puts the lives of Indians there at risk, on April 23, 2013. | (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)