The Circus is in Town
These photographs are of the public protests that took place in Madison Wisconsin in winter/spring 2011. Sparked by blatant partisan politics and fueled by national media coverage the protests became one of the largest incidents of public political protest in America since the late sixtes and early seventies.
Because I live in Madison and because I was appalled by the actions that forced people into the streets I participated in and documented the protests. As days became weeks of protest I focused on two particular aspects of the confrontation. One was the humor and intelligence displayed by the protesters and the other was the role the media played in the portrayal of the nature of the protest.
To my mind the portrayal of the actions of the protesters was and is as political and partisan an act as the protests themselves. Conscious decision making and political calculation went into what was ostensibly the recording of a newsworthy event. The media became as involved in the perpetuation of 'the story' as the protesters. The media displayed a self interested self awareness that bore examination. That examination was not always welcomed which begs the question, who watches the watchers?