An avid Lomography Shooter, Kenneth Bachor has been out on the streets photographing the upheavals of the past month, with his Simple Use Metropolis Camera. After photographing bands, abandoned building, and his everyday life, Kenneth turned his lens to the streets to capture the graffitis of the movement. As part of the streetscape of any city, graffitis are ephemeral. What Kenneth captured was a frozen moment in time, that the walls might not remember, but his pictures will.
"With these graffiti images, I thought years from now I'm going to look back on them and they'll mean something to me and hopefully others as a historical record of 2020."
His obsession with disposable cameras comes from a desire for simple, inexpensive, and easy gear. Less is more when it comes to his photography.
Why did you take those pictures on film?
Digital files are nice and something I use frequently, but film, as a medium is permanent to me. Film and digital are like different paintbrush strokes meant for different uses. Once you're capturing a frame using film, it's like physically writing something on paper with a pen versus typing on a computer or phone. With film cameras, you're using an analog tool to physically capture a singular moment in time that won't be repeated. With these graffiti images, I thought years from now I'm going to look back on them and they'll mean something to me and hopefully others as a historical record of 2020. No better way to capture that idea than with film. I love Lomography's Simple Use cameras, because they're cheap, easy to use, and produce great work.
Why did you focus on the graffiti around City hall? What is the importance of shooting those events?
Going down to Occupy City Hall, I wanted to capture what was going on, while being respectful to the protesters there. When you're down there, you're on their turf and I wanted to respect that. Lomo's Simple Use camera is small and unassuming, the people at Occupy weren't taking kindly to photographers with their huge DSLRs coming in and blasting them with a million photos, which I understand. So because of that, I stuck to photographing graffiti and signs with a small camera, which was a perfect way to capture the essence of what was going on without being invasive of people's identity concerns.
What is the importance of shooting those events?
I was always obsessed with 80s dystopian films like "Escape from New York" and "They Live" and once I learned that graffiti bombarded NYC's City Hall area downtown as part of Occupy, I had to be there with a camera. Not only did I want to capture the protesters and their message through my images, but I wanted to use the camera to reflect history. We're going to look at these events as a turning point in a lot of ways regarding the human collective conscience. 2020 has been a watershed year in terms of a lot of events coming together all at once. I hope that there is positive social change in the wake of George Floyd's murder, COVID, economic and political uncertainty, and unrest due to Donald Trump's presidency and I wanted to capture a tiny slice of that sentiment through these graffiti images.