The Debt Project

The Debt Project

99 Portraits Across America

Brittany M. Powell


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  • Persisting, timely and significant subject matter, especially because of rising student debt.
  • Thought-provoking content that normalizes the defeating and embarrassing feeling of being in debt and empowers individuals to look toward the future.
  • Demonstrates how widespread and geographically diverse the burden of debt resides in this cross-section of ordinary Americans from all walks of life, indiscriminate of education and background.”
  • The number 99 is symbolic in reference to the political slogan “We are the 99%”, coined by the Occupy Wall Street movement. The phrase directly refers to the income and wealth inequality in the United States with the main concentration of wealth being among the top earning 1%.
  • Appeals to the serious photography book collector as well as enthusiasts of books dealing with politics and sociology, specifically class issues highlighting income inequality in America.
  • Foreword is written by Astra Taylor, a prominent writer, filmmaker, and activist whose topic soften include politics and personal debt. Her most recent film is What is Democracy.
  • Publication date is purposely timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election--the book will be launch 1 week prior to election day.
  • Talented, well-connected author/photographer/film artist has been featured in: Politico Mag; Yale Radio Interview; Museum of Non-Visible Art; Fusion; Washington Post; Slate Mag; Fast Co Design; Huffington Post.
  • 99 portraits across America in: California, Oregon, Michigan, Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Texas, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maryland, DC and Colorado. Shows how widespread and geographically diverse the burden of debt resides, and the economic reality for most Americans today.
  • Planned publisher donation and backmatter to include information on action and helpful websites.


Brittany M. Powell:

Brittany M. Powell is a photographer, multimedia artist, and educator working in central Vermont. She spent more than a decade as a freelance documentary and editorial photographer in San Francisco, CA before moving to New England. Her work focuses on income inequality, identity, and class divides across America. She has a BFA in photography from California College of the Arts and an MFA from San Francisco State University.

Brittany has exhibited work at the ICP Museum in New York, Aperture Gallery in New York, SF Camerawork, Flux Factory in New York, Smack Mellon, Root Division, SOMArts, California College of the Arts, San Francisco State University, the Vermont Studio Center, Vermont College of Fine Arts, Johnson State University and the Headlands Center for the Arts. Brittany's photographs have been published in Politico, the Washington Post, the Guardian, Slate Magazine, Fast Company, Refinery29, Hyperallergic, USA Today, the Huffington Post, Marie Claire, National Geographic, the San Francisco Chronicle, Yoga Journal, and Chronicle Books amongst many others.

In 2015 and 2016, Brittany was a finalist for the Dorothea Lange/Paul Taylor prize in documentary from Duke University, and was awarded fellowships from both the Vermont Studio Center and the Headlands Center for the Arts. In 2019 she was the recipient of a creation grant from the Vermont Arts Council.