My first photobook, OWS, may look like reportage of the fall encampment in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, but it’s not. What I’m after is much closer to street photography than journalism, celebrating spontaneous moments that make strong, telling pictures rather than capturing news.
When I went to Zuccotti Park, I found a cultural movement rather than an overt political demonstration. That OWS didn’t have a “clear agenda,” as it was widely criticized at the time for lacking, seemed irrelevant; what I felt was a startlingly powerful sense of place and time—a vibe, if you will. I was immediately reminded of Berkeley in the late ’60s (where I was a student). What I sensed was that long lost ’60s world of cooperation, passion, and idealism stirring anew in Zuccotti Park.
I was deeply moved. And so came these photos.
In OWS, I’m capturing a time-tested street vision unexpected in 2011, yet also what’s new and original in Occupy Wall Street—strong enough to have already changed our national discussion. What will last longer, I believe, is the stirring of old ideals and visions, nascent in Zuccotti Park but true and vivid before me every time I turned around.