Category: friend

Citizens of Dewey Park – Occupiers, Organizers, and the 99%

Late Tuesday night, I headed to Dewey Park to find out how I could be of service to the Occupy Movement. After participating in the march on Monday and witnessing via a live feed (and twitter) the arrests at Rose Kennedy Greenway late monday night (see previous posts), I realized that I have never felt more politically motivated or mobilized. Unfortunately, I was feeling that there wasn’t a lot I could do other than spread the word, take pictures, and participate in an ongoing dialog with the Occupiers, my peers and family, students at my college, and countless individuals through social media outlets.

What I realized at about 1am Wednesday morning was that what I have already been doing is exactly what is needed. Those individuals who can occupy, or must occupy, do. Those who have medical training volunteer to attend to those injured, ill, or in need of some water or a cough drop. Those who are able, hold positions in the OccupyBoston Camp as cooks, legal advisors, media coordinators, logistics supervisors, and anything and everything in between. I take pictures. I am a documentarian and an anthropologist. I am a publicist and an interdisciplinary media liaison. I am a communicator through the written word and through images, and I am honored to be able, and humbly encouraged, to use this as my focus of aid in this capacity.

Armed with little else other than my camera and a positive attitude, I arrived at the Camp a bit after 10pm Tuesday, and immediately bumped into several acquaintances who were seeking the same information I was: “How do we help?” and we parted ways, each seeking an answer to our query. As if by some force, the next few hours were spent in the company of several remarkable, intelligent, and motivated individuals, people who occupy positions in the camp as everything from Volunteer EMT, to Media outreach, to providing food to those who are hungry.

What follows is the beginning of a photojournalistic project devoted to, and inspired by, those who are reminding all of us that WE are the 99%, and making it possible for those who Occupy to do so as safely, comfortably, and civilly as possible.

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S, Joseph, and Corinna: These three are part of the Occupy Movement, but are not currently occupying. Corinna and Joseph are discussing the possibility of creating site-specific sculpture utilizing the trash that the Occupation is generating, such as plastic bottles, and are interested in the sense of community within the Occupation site.

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Nick & Dave are here to experience the community and learn more about the righteous efforts of the movement. Nick is leaving the country in a few days, and wanted tp spend his last week before he left contributing to the cause.

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Dan is a volunteer for the Legal Group at OccupyBoston. Dan believes in "the general utopia of living in a small community like this, where the humanity of the small details is what brings people together, and the idea of living in the world that you want to exist in by pure force of will and love."

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Dan is an institution in the Peace Activism world. From dumpstering food for and feeding the hungry to rallying people to speak publicly about politics, Dan supports the homeless and protesting community by making sure nobody goes hungry or thirsty and mobilizing outreach and open discourse.

Sarah is a Volunteer at the Kitchen. At first, she was unsure of how to contribute to the movement, but now she feels comfortably at home. "There's a lot of talk about what the movement is, " she says, "but it already IS. People are suffering in different ways, are homeless, are already occupying public spaces. Now, here, people are being fed, taken care of, we are redefining 'public' space. It's exciting, meditative, and sustaining. "

Theresa is one of the original organizers of the Boston Occupation. She is "everywhere and nowhere" within the community, and is amazed at the progress that has occurred since the September 24th initial planning. "The occupation has developed so organically. People were waiting for the opportunity to contribute: what's your talent? what do you want to do to help? how can you contribute? All these things develop naturally within this community." Theresa is a mother of two, and homeschools her children during the day, after which she scoots over to Dewey to help out however she can.

Ryan and Acacia are Occupying working in the Media Tent. Ryan, who was formerly in the Army, is now a student pursuing a degree in Finance. "I don't want to work for a financial firm, and I'm kind of afraid to graduate in the world we live in. People I know with Masters degrees can't even find work."

Dave has been occupying for six days. He is working as a volunteer for the First Aid group as he has been an EMT. "My voice is in low-income housing," he said. "I don't understand how Corporations get tax breaks and are financially supported by our economy, and I can't find an affordable place to live."

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Tyler Ramsey “The Valley Wind” out today!

Tyler Ramsey has a formidable presence. Though outwardly regal and composed, when he sings, all the tiny and beautiful creatures come pouring out of him, amongst their stories, and wind their way out from behind the mane of chestnut curls which swing freely across his face while he plays. His arrangements are humbly alive, even the softest notes are electric, the absence of sound is heavy and substantial.

Ramsey has a singular sound, somewhere between Jason Molina and Mark Kozalek, and is able to hit notes on the higher end of the spectrum that could sound labored when sung by a less-resonant voice. Ramsey’s vocal mutability is characteristic of a seasoned musician who exercises his strengths while challenging his weaknesses. His Americana-infused finger-picking walks the line between delicate and complex, mathematical and fluid. The more complex his composition, the more effortless it seems, and yet, when playing the simplest of notes, there’s a strained beauty, a haunting quality to the sustained notes.

The Valley Wind proves Ramsey’s skill at arranging sparse yet effective compositions to accent his uncanny ability to tell stories through suggestion. The title track features a heart-beat courtesy of Seth Kauffman, and the cascade which mirrors this rhythm feeds the image of long road-trips and borders on anthemic, while “Nightbird,”** with it’s layered tracks of increasingly incandescent guitars is monumental in it’s subtlety: “is it the ocean, the ocean or the sky that you are seeing, I know sometimes our eyes can be deceiving. Is there a reason for these disconnected feelings you are feeling? Everybody knows you should be sleeping.. you should be sleeping.”

 The Valley Wind is out today.

Buy at iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-valley-wind/id460610452

Buy at Amazon: http://amzn.to/qt92Cc

Buy at Fat Possum Web Store: http://fatpossum.com/products/the-valley-wind

or at any stops on his forthcoming tour, dates can be found at tylerramsey.com or on facebook

Here are a few shots from the Tyler Ramsey show in Asheville on November 18th 2010.

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**(“Nightbird,” is particularly resonant for me as I heard it the last time I visited Asheville, sitting in Tyler & Joti’s kitchen. The morning I left to drive back up North, we listened to the beginnings of this record, just after Tyler had shared a few of the newer songs at a show at the Grey Eagle a few nights prior, and for some reason this one stuck in so many ways. And now, eight months later, he is releasing the record as I am flying into Ashevile.. “fly home, everybody’s waiting.”)

365 day 202 – HOWLIES!

365 day 192 – chair time

365 day 191 – a perfect day

365 day 183 – the mansion

365 day 182 – amesbury brewfest, aka I only have eyes for riverwalk