No One Knows Exactly, And That’s OK

Now that Occupy Wall Street is headlining, after weeks of minimal coverage, the conversation about exactly what it is is growing too. Has the slumbering giant (the 99%) woken up? How long will it (we) stay awake? And what have we got to say to each other now that The Conversation is afoot? Here is what I’ve gathered about OWS so far: 1. this movement seeks to catalyze the discussion around social and economic inequalities in America 2. this movement, while directly aimed at challenging the political landscape of today, is not about Democrats or Republicans, but about a larger gulf, the working class and the ultra-rich 3. this movement is about democracy, or the peril thereof, and what the average American can and should expect from our government 4. this movement is also about capitalism, and what we as a society might envision of our financial systems moving forward 5. the mainstream media doesn’t know quite how to portray OWS, which in my mind can only be positive — the more the mainstream media works to capture (or squelch) the spirit of OWS, the more the American public will be drawn into the process of evaluating and discussing with their friends and families what the heck it’s all about, and 6. this movement is forward-thinking, populist and imaginative, it’s about the 99% agitating for an alternative to our broken system. I’m interested in what FES has to say. I hope people start sharing their perspectives with each other, faculty and staff included. I’m impressionable, I’m young, I see the current system is deeply flawed, I don’t want to be apathetic, I want to be informed. I’m ready to learn how all the pieces fit together. Come tell me a thing or two…


Angel Hertslet, FES 2013

Austin Lord

Austin Lord is a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, focusing in Political Ecology and Environmental Anthropology with an area concentration in Himalayan Studies. His ongoing research concerns processes of social and spatial change in areas affected by hydropower development in Nepal, with a particular focus on changing livelihoods and shifting patterns of migration and mobility. Austin spent over six months conducting fieldwork within Nepal during 2012 and 2013, focusing specifically on the upper watersheds of the Trishuli and Tamakoshi rivers, and he plans to return to Nepal in 2014-2015 to continue and expand this work. Prior to attending Yale, Austin studied Hydrology at Portland State University and received an A.B. in Economics and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. A broader collection of his photographic work (from Nepal and elsewhere) can be found at

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