About

Starting the Conversation is an independent project by Videographer Cam McKenzie and Photographer/Graphic Designer Pantelis Korovilas aimed at continuing the conversation that the Occupy Wall Street movement started, this time with the individual people on the ground.

These raw interviews with protestors from Zuccotti Park in Manhattan and Occupy Boston, taken at the end of 2011 and only edited for continuity, are a glimpse into the minds of several of the thousands of protesters supporting Occupy Wall Street across the country and the many more throughout the globe

As Iowans following the mainstream media’s coverage of events, what we often discovered was an inability or unwillingness to explore and delve into the deeper questions underlying the protests. The major outlets did a great job of describing what they saw, but this is where it often stopped. We felt there was a missed opportunity to explore the ideas of inequality and injustice in contemporary America, which are at the heart of many protester concerns, for the more flashy coverage of the surface-level activities. We craved more.

The media as a whole has often struggled to make sense of the protestor’s varying motives and, as a result, often trivialized their reasoning. Some commentators have gone so far as to blindly label the protestors as “dirty hippies” who need to “get a job.” This simplistic rhetoric has failed, however, to grasp the complexity of the situation and the historical social and economic factors that led to the development of this movement. Even worse, the individual protestors are often lost in the over-generalized rhetoric, mischaracterized by social stereotyping.

Starting the Conversation is an attempt to give individual supporters and protesters a voice, a chance to share their experiences and their thoughts, their reasoning and their motives. These raw interviews with protestors from Zuccotti Park in Manhattan and Occupy Boston, taken at the end of 2011 and only edited for continuity, are a glimpse into the minds of several of the thousands of protesters supporting Occupy Wall Street across the country and the many more throughout the globe. We hope they can supplement the growing, collective body of work aimed at a deeper and more holistic understanding of this complex situation, a reflection of the complex and interconnected age we live in.

For contact and information about the authors click here.

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