Picture Black Friday 2009

H&M, Black Friday, 2003

H&M, Black Friday, Chicago, 2003

From the beginnings of my project on consumerism I’ve been fascinated with the phenomenon of Black Friday. Originally a derogatory term used to describe the insane holiday shopping traffic mess around Philadelphia, BF is now not only a measure of our nations economy, but a spectacle to question the integrity of our own priorities.

The folks at Adbusters magazine long ago saw this and created the annual protest titled ‘Buy Nothing Day‘, to try and give a better perspective on not spending the day shopping but perhaps refocusing purpose in our lives elsewhere.

In the spirit of the spectacle, photographer John Saponara has created a new call to arms, Picture Black Friday asks photographers to get up early and head for the malls but with a camera in hand rather than wallet. One can interpret this day and its events in anyway they please through some photographic means. Jurors such as John, Amy Stein, Jorg Colberg, Stephen Frailey, Jon Feinstein and myself are hopefully some people you’d like to impress anyway. We can’t promise prizes other than accolades, internet fame and I may even ask you to be my friend on facebook (hint: I will be looking through the submissions for print trades ;).

So get out your body gear, get in line with your coffee and lawn chair and experience the strangeness of our shopping obsessed US.

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  1. […] In the spirit of the spectacle, photographer John Saponara has created a new call to arms, Picture Black Friday asks photographers to get up early and head for the malls but with a camera in hand rather than wallet. […]

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