Feast: Weeks 2 + 3 | New York City Documentary Photography

So, I totally dropped the ball on Feast updates.

This month has been a whirlwind. I’ve filled every minute flitting to and from weddings and portrait shoots, to my computer for much needed editing time, to North Carolina to see my family, to yoga to retain my sanity, and to Liberty Square to cover the protest for Feast. Two weeks into the project, the police evacuated the park and razed the tent city the protestors had built there, effectively voiding the initial narrative of my project.

I was at my mom’s house in North Carolina prepping for bed when I got a push notification on my phone alerting me to a NY Times article about the police raid on Zuccotti. I spent the next two hours watching the live feed of the raid, feeling helpless and sad. Protestors were pushed out of the park, the perimeter was lined with sanitation trucks, and everything in the park was subsequently chucked into those trucks. The airspace above the park was closed off to the media. It was mayhem. By the next morning, the park was clear of all signs of the preceding two months and the protestors, who had become complacent, were newly pissed off.

While it’s a shame that people lost their belongings, I think the raid itself had a huge positive effect on the movement. Too many shitty things were happening in that park, and there was so much energy being expended on how to solve those problems that it detracted from the original reasons that led the protestors to occupy. Now, people can occupy the space without tripping over tents or, hopefully, being sexually assaulted. The productive atmosphere and exchange of ideas that marked the movement in the beginning have returned.

All that said, my project was initially deeply rooted in the culture created by the protestors living in the park. The raid threw me for a loop, and my narrative was lost. Worse, I haven’t been able to spend much time in the park to catch a new one. I hope that’s a situation that can be remedied over the next days, but I also think that it’s impossible to encompass this movement in photos made over the course of a month.

Head on over to my protégé page to see the images I’ve made so far, along with Mario Tama’s feedback. Do you agree or disagree with Mario? Is there anything you’d like to add?

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