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 documentary filmmaker and fine art photographer. She earned her MFA at San Francisco State University and is an adjunct professor of photography and video at Napa Valley College. Brittany has exhibited at SF Camerawork, Flux Factory New York, Smack Mellon, Root Division, and SOMArts. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, Slate Magazine, Fast Company, USA Today, The Huffington Post, National Geographic, San Francisco Chronicle, and more. In 2015, she was a finalist for the Dorothea Lange/Paul Taylor prize in documentary, and was awarded fellowships from both the Vermont Studio Center and the Headlands Center for the Arts. The Debt Project was born from her own personal experience and her interest in how debt plays a role in shaping and understanding our identity and how we relate to the world.