Before Occupy Wall Street protesters got the boot from New York police early Tuesday morning, photographer August Bradley documented the folks who call Zucotti Park home. His series, “99 Faces of Occupy Wall Street,” shows a different side of the protesters. There are no signs, no tents, no angry standoffs with police: just people, young and old, and stories that led to their decision to give up everything — or gain everything — by moving into a public park.
To distinguish them from photojournalism, Bradley shot his 99 portraits with studio lighting and a Hasselblad camera. For each subject, Bradley and his team recorded a statement about where the protester came from, and why he or she was there. The group of portraits is overwhelmingly white and male.
Many of the answers won’t surprise anyone: the guys who rail against corporate influence in politics, the women who are there to spread peace and love. But a few are radical, thoughtful and even whimsical, like the protester who said he was there to serve ice cream.
More importantly, the tired, hopeful and wrinkled faces of the 99 portraits humanize a movement that has no leaders and no individual names attached to it. Looking through the faces, you’ll see the tattooed, the pierced, the bearded — and some people who might look like your family, friends and neighbors.