We are the 99% | personal storytelling with photos

image gallery, we are the 99_percent_gallery

The #occupywallstreet movement gathers force with an inspiring campaign that encourages people to upload a photo of themselves holding a text message expressing their financial predicament.

Each face is a person. Each person is a story. Most of the stories make you feel thankful your situation isn’t as bad. It’s amazing how many people turn to prostitution to pay the mortgage. Or work 16 hours a day.

Why it’s great: It’s an artistic game. And it’s a social game. There are rules. “Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that describes your situation in one sentence – for example, “I am a student with $25,000 in debt.” Below that, write “I am the 99 percent.”

People get to represent themselves. They tell their own stories. Most ignore the instructions to write a sentence. But when you read the stories, it’s often obvious that people’s situations can’t be reduced to a sentence.

Remarkably, people’s personal financial problems are being expressed as political problems. As the gallery grows, it becomes increasingly political, by mass corroberation. Our representational democracies normally run on the premise that it’s impossible to draw links between personal welfare and politics. This helps to change that.

We are the 99%” gallery. I look forward to watching it grow.

UPDATE:
Have a look at this fascinating statistical and political analysis of the We are the 99% tumblr project.
Parsing the Data and Ideology of the We Are 99% Tumblr

About Brad

Brad has been making direct response TV commercials and web videos for non-profits for over 13 years. He is currently peeping over the leading edge of the digital film revolution, which allows charities to tell real stories from the field using the same technology and techniques used by Hollywood. “Putting film, fundraising, and the internet together is a revolutionary mix, that gives a small charity an equal voice to a big brand. The big difference today is internet media is conversational and charities have something life-changing to talk about, while commercial brands have got nothing but blemishes, bad smells, and car insurance.”

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