October 6, 2011

Wall Street Occupation: Looking Down on Mr. Tambourine Man

This isn’t the first photo Mario Tama has taken using a reflection in a window to draw a contrast between the white collar class and the working stiffs. We did a post with Mario back in April 2009 capturing similar elements, taken during a Financial District demonstration protesting the Wall Street bailout. The difference between that photo and this, however, reflective of the growing traction of Occupy Wall Street, is the hardening of the anger and the sharpening of the divide.

A repeated visual theme of the protests so far has been the juxtaposition of the protesters and the suits. This photo (the nature of the two posters putting the culture clash on a war footing) is powerful for the expressions and the orientation, the corporate guys on the inside, having the higher station, looking down on Mr. Tambourine Man and his ilk. More than anything though, what this photo contributes to the narrative is that look of contempt.

In the 2009 photo, there wasn’t any tension at all “on the inside.” The businesspeople didn’t even notice a demonstration was taking place. To the surprise of just about everyone now, however, what both sides are realizing, more so with each passing day, is how much each has skin in the game.

PHOTOGRAPH by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

(caption: Protesters affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement march past a bar in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District near Wall Street on October 5, 2011 in New York City. Thousands of protesters including union members and college students from an organized walkout joined today’s rally and march.)

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Mario Tama
See other posts by Mario here.

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