I first started photographing Occupy Detroit on October 23, 2011, Day 10 of their encampment. My original intention was to find images to add to a project on Detroit’s people that I had been working on for some months. But after eight hours with these amazingly committed young people, I was hooked. For the next three weeks my camera and I spent every free minute down at Grand Circus Park where Occupy Detroit made its home.
I knew that history was being made and I wanted to document it, mainly for the occupiers themselves. That was why I started making 8.5 x 11 inch prints of selected photos and, with the help of Todd and Bob down at the camp, put together an ever-expanding photo album. It eventually contained 127 prints. Todd and Bob kept the album at the Info Tent so the occupiers could see a tangible record of what they were contributing to this worldwide movement for economic and social justice.
It is clear that Occupy Detroit is as much a cultural as a political movement. What started as an encampment has become a deeply connected community that will continue to forge new ways of living and working together as equals. I feel honored to have documented its origins. As history tells us, change always comes from the bottom up.