documenting worlds
photography by annie appel
film-based work *
click HERE to view the book
The Occupy Portraits (2011-2013)*

When the Occupy protests began, I was inspired to
contribute my best efforts. As a documentary photographer,
this is my activism: to offer these images in the hope that
their chronicle of a movement will inspire others to continue
to act boldly in the cause of universal justice.

These 572 portraits document activists from the Occupy
movement in twelve cities across the United States. In the
interest of historical accuracy, everyone I photographed is
included, presented in chronological sequence, and paired
with  their answer to my question, "What would you change
first to make this a better world?”

In gratitude, each activist photographed who provided me an
email address was sent a digital copy of their portrait



Find a set of The Occupy Portraits at the Smithsonian
National Museum of Amercian History
Marco (12 days) …free education.
Occupy Los Angeles
Samantha (34 days) …a restructuring of the ownership of
wealth in this world.
Occupy Los Angeles
Alex (since before it started) …This movement is happening
whether anyone likes it or not. Our hearts are pure. Our
minds, clear. Our intentions are just.

Occupy Portland
Ibrahim (100 days) …”living in the world of peace,” as John
Lennon wrote.

Lisa (96 days) …Housing and health care for everyone.

Occupy Portland
Coco (since I was 15 years old) …humanity.

Occupy Olympia
Audrey (since before the beginning) …I think because I have
children what concerns me most is the earth - the planet they
have to live on. (Co-founder of Mothers of the Movement)

Alex (Oct 9) …I want social and economic justice. (Co-
founder Olympia United for Community Health)

Orin (Oct 9) …Everybody should have to plant one tree on
their birthday, and pick-up one piece of garbage everyday.
(Founder of The Earth Club)

Tobin (Oct 9) …fix the world

Occupy Olympia
Brian (98 days - since day 1) …I hope to end the idea and
concept of corporate person-hood.

Occupy Tacoma
Brett (Nov 3 - 77 days) …my stand here has always been
the children and the children’s children.

Occupy Tacoma
Kathleen (all my life) …get the people educated so they
know what is going on, and truthful newspaper reporting.

Occupy Seattle
Dorli (my whole life) …my number one hope is for total
regime change - I would like to see a generation of children
growing up without war.

Occupy Seattle

(Dorli  was pepper-sprayed by Seattle police while
peacefully protesting.)
Bob (over forty years) …end poverty.

(Pastor Bob Davidson at West Park Presbyterian on 86th
and Amsterdam, where activists continue to sleep at night
after eviction from Zuccotti Park 15 November)

Occupy Wall Street
Ray (a long while) …I would like everyone to search their
hearts and determine their priorities - and then act on them.

(Retired Philadelphia Police Captain Ray Lewis arrested by
New York Police for wearing his uniform to an Occupy

Occupy Wall Street
Kevin (seven years) …justification of civil welfare.

Sieda (since September 17) …teach the idea that God made
us all.

Occupy Newark
Kayla (October 1) …there should be no poverty anywhere in
the world.


Occupy Newark
Richard (15 October) …I would like an open dialogue without
the political ideologies getting in the way. It’s really not about
the politicians, it’s about the people.

Occupy New Haven
Joe (15 October) …I would like to change the economic

Occupy New Haven
Pawn (5 October) …give people the ability and encouragement
to cut the umbilical cord to consumer culture by becoming bio-

Occupy Oakland
Sam Sarah (10 October) …access to wholistic pregnancy and
labor delivery care for all families.

Davina (all my life) …clear hearts of hatred and fill them with
compassion, grace and generosity for all.

Occupy Oakland
Mariska (1 October) …unconditional love.


Occupy Venice
Matthew (4 October) …everyone can have equal access to
carbon-free transportation.

Occupy Venice
Angi (7 October) …free education and the vote.

Occupy Washington D.C.
Nancy (experienced activist) …raising the level of awareness
of our people with knowledge and education, to show them
they have the capacity to understand.

(The Anarchist Alliance D.C. Network in solidarity with
Occupy D.C.)

Occupy Washington D.C.
Father Jose (20 years) …change the military into peace

Father Raul (22 years) …change the structure of the
economy so that we can create ‘supra-structure’ based on
food, education, health and life.

Occupy Chicago
William (my whole life) …suppress technology.

Occupy Chicago
Kelsey (I think I woke up when I was 14) …educate the

Hathor (8 weeks)

Erin (2 years) …eliminate currency.

Natalie (1 year) …get rid of hate.

Million Mask March, Los Angeles
(Million Mask March, organized by demonstrators in 450
cities around the globe, protesting corruption throughout
government and censorship in the media for the benefit of
Alfonso (a couple years) …end the wars.
Alex (4 years) …make food free.
María (1 year) …free education.
Athena (2 years) …abolish the Federal Reserve.
Joel (today) …win the presidency, alongside John Allen
Martinson, Jr.

Million Mask March, Los Angeles