about this work

These photographs are glimpses into my life, the life of my community, and a broader community of people struggling to change the world. The focus of much of my work attempts to redefine relationships with the natural world, while other sets of my photographs reflect a growing desire for wider societal changes, in the form of street demonstrations, occupations, and other direct actions. These images intimately reflect the depth of the personal relationships of which my life is composed, document a series of personal explorations through natural and social landscapes, and attempt to provide a visual bridge to the gap between anti-authoritarian ideas and their practice in the real world. I have undertaken projects such as an in-depth examination of the anti-war movement in Northern California, covering the anti-capitalist protests against the 2010 Winter Olympics, documenting tree sitters in Southern Oregon, anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece, as well as West Coast forest squatting communities.

Using strong compositions, dark, high contrast prints, and the traditional full-frame approach, I seek to both embolden the image and invigorate the viewer's bond with the themes. The photographs in my project take these themes out of the shadows and shed light onto the motivations behind actions, providing inspiration and insight into the benefits and challenges of attempting to live life free of hierarchy.

-nicholas varanelli