The collective power of public assembly is one of the most effective instruments of opposition at the core of every protest movement. In the wake of economic calamity, these protesters and activists congregated at the doorstep of New York City’s financial institutions to challenge the power of global capital and contemplate the contours of alternative systems. An array of issues motivated them to participate in Occupy Wall Street. They embraced divergent political philosophies and often articulated competing visions for the future. What they shared, though, was the overwhelming sense that something is incredibly wrong with their country, and that radical change was necessary. Together they were committed to reversing systematic inequality through direct democracy; regularly building consensus and cultivating radical inclusivity through the horizontal decision making process from which this project borrows its name.
These portraits were made in the charged atmosphere of Zuccotti Park, elsewhere in the city during direct actions, and at more contemplative moments before and after working group meetings and teach-ins. The images in this book appear in roughly chronological order from September 2011 to September 2012, spanning the dynamic founding year of a movement whose legacy continues to unfold. These individuals represent only a small fraction of the Americans engaged in rebellion that year, but they are a concentrated expression of the conviction that this struggle is essential to our collective future.
Photographs and text by Matthew Connors
Hardcover, bound by hand, 7.75 x 9.75 inches