Sharon Lee Hart
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Black Friday
Having grown up in the D.C. area, I did not know exactly what to expect of Black Friday in Lexington, KY. It felt counter intuitive to go towards Black Friday, as I typically hole up in my house until it is over. Forcing myself out, I found and photographed the prerequisite crowds, traffic jams, and consumer chaos. However, I was mostly drawn to the quiet moments and sincere attempts made by employees to organize the pandemonium. People sleeping and lying down on the cold concrete sidewalk while waiting in line for a store to open, struck me as a very vulnerable way to be in public. While Wal-Mart was swarming with frenzied shoppers, I weaved through the maze of people to the back of the store and discovered an empty layaway room. Unopened boxes of merchandise sat below bundles of inflated price balloons, which were slowly heating up under the lights. While glancing into a cart haphazardly shoved to the side at Toys R Us, I discovered a disheveled doll, arms raised in distress lying on a bed of sale ads. Finally, at Target I was moved by the employee efforts to keep some sense of order and the relative calm they exhibited in the face of challenging customers run amok.
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