Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
October 7, 2011

All Assumptions Will be Contested

As the “Occupy Wall Street” movement gains steam, we are seeing all kinds of signs and symbols indicating “there’s something happening here.” Photographer M. Scott Brauer captured one of those indicators in Boston Wednesday. Whereas the Tea Party has had a perceptual lock on American political activism since 2009, with the Colonial Gadsden flag as their self-claimed flag, calling card and wallpaper, the fact a progressive activist would unfurl it in front of this high-profile building in the Boston Financial District filled with major bank, brokerage and investment outfits — in effect, taking it back from the libertarian and conservative right — provides a dramatic statement.

Of course, anybody could get their hands on another “don’t tread on me.” The fact that this progressive groundswell is almost a month old now, however, is expanding at the rate it is, and is starting to draw analogies to the Tea Party phenomenon and even the Arab Spring, invests this imagery, at this point-in-time, with a sense of a rebalancing of the political scales. On top of that, it’s a dramatic warning shot that all political and cultural conventional thinking will be contested.

PHOTOGRAPH by M. Scott Brauer/dvafoto.

(dvafoto photoblog; Brauer portfolio; Brauer photo archive.)

About the Photographer

M. Scott Brauer

M. Scott Brauer was born 1982, Landstuhl, Germany, to American parents. Grew up in various locations in the US, but Montana is home. Currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. Graduated with honors from the University of Washington with dual degrees in philosophy and Russian literature and language in 2005. Interned at Black Star and VII New York in 2005. Worked for daily newspapers in 2006 and 2007: the Northwest Herald in suburban Chicago, and the Flint Journal in Flint, Michigan. Moved to China in 2007. Represented by Invision Images, Aurora Select, and On Asia. Clients and publications include: The New York Times, Fader magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Time Asia, That’s Shanghai, Epsilon (Greece), Vision magazine (China), Lufthansa, Bosch, Amity Foundation, Pfrang Association, Colorlines, World Magazine, Map Magazine (China), AM New York, and XAOC magazine. See more of Scott's work for BagNews here .

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