February 2015. Caracas, Venezuela. A poster at Lola, an upscale eatery in Altamira. Two years after the charismatic and divisive President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez died, the country he left behind is suffering from severe inflation and product shortages, one of the highest murder rates in the world according to independent violence observers, and has made headlines in the last year for a wave of protests from government opposition sectors. As current President Nicolas Maduro struggles to correct the economic free fall, the rift between Chavista government supporters and opposition parties, often split along class lines is vast and seems to be widening. To makes sense of this place, once must first understand that for all intents and purposes there are two Venezuelas, living in distinct worlds and often blaming each other for the country’s woes. The poor who composed Chavez’ base, living in favelas and poor working class neighborhoods on meager wages and a robust system of government hand outs, and the middle and upper class who live behind security walls and tinted windows, amid a cloud of fear of crime and insecurity, and a culture of outrage against the ruling party. Many agree that this polarization is contributing to the inability of the country to move forward and solve its problems.
March 22nd, 2013. East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The Flavor Essence dance team moves through its choreography in unison as smoke clouds the air in a nightclub around 3am on a Thursday night. Videographers often attend the parties to make video of the dancers, which will be published on the internet on various websites that cater to the subculture. Teams often compete fiercely for the videographer’s spotlight. (Natalie Keyssar)
April 28th, 2015. Baltimore, Maryland. Police shoot tear gas to clear the street. Protesters, media, police and national guard converged near the corner of North and Pennsylvania Avenue in West Baltimore during protests on the evening of April 28th. For most of the day the protests consisted of dancing, singing, conversation and peaceful marching, but the night concluded with the use of tear gas to disperse a handful of protesters who didnt leave at the start of the curfew. Protests have rocked the city of Baltimore after the death of 25 year old resident Freddie Gray while in police custody due to a spinal injury. While the majority of protests have been completely peaceful, a few riots have broken out which police and national guard have responded to with arrests and dispersals of tear gas.
August 19th, 2014. Ferguson, MO. Children dance to music playing from a truck with the words ?no shoot, no loot? written on it and parked in a lot on West Florissant Ave. during a protest on Aug. 19, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Moments later riot police insisted that the protesters keep marching in circles around the designated protest area and not stop to dance.