Occupied Spaces

On the 15th October 2011, protestors representing the global Occupy movement set up a semi-permanent camp outside St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. The aim of the protests is to encourage discourse and raise awareness of social and economic inequalities.

On the 25th of October, several UK newspapers and media outlets ran stories claiming that ‘thermal imaging’ proved that only 10% of the 250 tents in St. Paul’s Square were being inhabited overnight; I was immediately sceptical of these claims.

This series of photographs catalogues some of the communal and private spaces that have been installed in the St. Pauls and Finsbury Square camps. The traces of activity and inhabitance serve as a document of the intense utilisation of a limited space by a large number of both permanent and temporary residents.

For syndication of this feature please contact Picturetank.

For a more in depth analysis of these images, check out this BBC Viewfinder interview with Phil Coomes, and this feature on the Wired Magazine photography blog with Jakob Schiller.

Main Information Tent, St. Paul
Main Information Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
Tent occupied by Simona from Lithuania.
Clothes Store and Design Workshop, St Paul's Camp.
Tent City University at St. Paul's Camp. The space is used for a daily series of lectures, run by both camp residents and visiting speakers.
Tent shared by protestors representing the 15M movement from Madrid, Spain
Tent shared by protestors representing the 15M movement from Madrid, Spain.
Tech Tent (left partition), St. Paul's Camp.
Tech Tent (right partition), St. Paul's Camp.
Tent occupied by Marvin, from Freiburg, Germany.
Tent occupied by Phil, from Poland.
Food storage space in the Kitchen Tent, St. Paul's Camp. Volunteers and supporters of the occupation donate food supplies for the camp.
Kitchen Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
Tent occupied by Cyril, from London.
International Commission Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
Multi Faith Prayer and Meditation Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
Tent currently occupied by Mike from London and up to 7 others on any one night.
Theatre Tent, Finsbury Square Camp.
General Supply and Strategy Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
First Aid Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
Café Tent, St. Paul's Camp.
The Kurdish Tent at St. Paul's Camp. The flags depict Abdullah Ocalan, jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. On the 27th October 2011, armed police searched the tent after an anonymous 999 call claimed there were guns inside.
Tent occupied by Johnathan from Nottingham.
The Peace Tent at St. Paul's Camp is occupied by up to 15 people on any one night.
Library Storage Tent, St. Paul's Camp. The library is running on donated books from volunteers and supporters.