Projects > Black Friday

Forcing myself out on Black Friday, I found and photographed the prerequisite crowds, traffic jams, and consumer chaos. However, I was mostly drawn to the quiet moments and sincere attempts stores made 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. 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.