about the Under the Blue Tarp project, including the protestors' reasons for Occupying
Erica McDonald first began photographing the Occupation when the first shelters were erected in Zuccotti Park. “At first there were just a couple, perhaps just Camp France and Camp Namaste,” she recalled. “Namaste was fairly simple, made from cardboard and rope, covered with a tarp; France, which housed a group of friends, was large and more elaborate, with a mattress and a table inside. As time went on, camps became more sophisticated. The day before the raid, in preparation for the weather, Camp Swag Shack was working to completely elevate as many camps as was possible.”
Always getting consent from the tents’ occupiers, Erica would often have to contort her body to fit each dark, confined space and rely on a flashlight to focus her camera.
“Even before the raid, some camps were destroyed, for a number of reasons - weather, deconstructed for cleaning, by the police or taken over by another in the park. Some people built new camps or joined another. I photographed just once in most camps, sometimes for just a minute or two. Sometimes I stayed and enjoyed the company.”
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Erica McDonald is a photographer, educator and curator who lives in New York City. She founded DEVELOP Photo to provide resources for the enrichment of the photojournalism, fine art and documentary photography community. Her work is regularly commissioned for magazines nationally and internationally and has been exhibited worldwide.
Read more about the Under the Blue Tarp project, including the protestors reasons for Occupying.
Photography By Erica McDonald