Photographers have descended on Occupy demonstrations across the country, snapping shots of the protesters faces whether bloodied during police clashes, or resilient and even when they're blasted with pepper spray. But with no central leader, the movement's most recognizable face may be a mask.
It's exactly this quality of facelessness that led photographer and filmmaker August Bradley to use his camera to look Occupy Wall Street's protestors in the eyes and show some of the faces behind the movement -- 99 of them in fact. Bradley completed his project, called the 99 Faces of Occupy Wall Street, in just one day with a randomly selected group of subjects primarily composed of protestors camping out in Zuccotti park. The photos feature a variety of subjects including, medics, visitors and even pets.
"I thought the idea... of looking into the eyes of the protestors in a very intense and honest way would be a different way to communicate something, certainly about the people behind it, but also the movement in general, as told by the stories of in the faces of those people," Bradley told The Huffington Post.
Alongside the photos, Bradley asked his subjects to answer a simple question "Why are you here?" The answers ranged from fighting inequality to promoting anarchy to a simple "woof" ("dogs are part of the encampment -- it seemed appropriate they should be part of the series," Bradley said) and while the photographer said he agrees with some of the responses and not with others, his own personal opinions of it aren't the point of his project. Instead, the photos are about starting a discussion.
"What I see when I look at these portraits is a real weight, a seriousness, with which people are approaching the movement," he says. "These people are really passionate about it and they've educated themselves about the issues. It's not just the cause of the week. They identify this as the movement of our generation."
Here are 24 faces from August Bradley's 99 Faces of Occupy Wall St.:
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