Beginnings in New York City



The Peopleís Geography Project was founded in New York City in September 1999.  A dozen geographers from around the US met at the Gramercy Park Hotel and over the course of a long weekend hammered out the goals and rationale of the Project, and its agenda for the upcoming years.  They determined what sort of resources would be needed for to sustain the Project over the short- and long-haul and developed an organizational structure.  As mundane as all that sounds, what was rewarding was that these discussions were always deeply political, and deeply politically committed to popularizing radical geography even as it radicalized the popular geography.  The Project aims to make critical, radical geography useful to people in their everyday lives and a resource for those engaged in the struggle for social and economic justice. 

Meeting on the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York during September, 1999, Peopleís Geography Project members George Henderson, Matt Hannah, Clyde Woods, and Ruthie Gilmore, during a discussions over the nature of the Project.

Michael Brown and Don Mitchell.

Don Mitchell and Cindi Katz.

Clyde Woods and Ruthie Gilmore.

One of the small group sessions where the specific activities the Project would undertake were hammered out.  Clockwise from the foreground: Don Mitchell (with back to camera), Cindi Katz, Brian Page, Lynn Staeheli, Josh Lapidus (the Projectís first graduate assistant), Matt Hannah, Clyde Woods.

Knowing that a Project of this sort will require a certain disdain for how power structures space, Project members engage in their first act of radical transgression: exceeding the elevatorís carrying capacity.  From tallest to shortest: Matt Hannah; Brian Page; Sallie Marston; George Henderson; Don Mitchell; John Lapidus; Clyde Woods; Ruthie Gilmore (or at least her eyes); Lynn Staeheli; Cindi Katz.

Left to Right: Sallie Marston; Ruthie Gilmore (barely!); Clyde Woods; George Henderson; Josh Lapidus; Lynn Staeheli; Don Mitchell; Matt Hannah; Brian Page.

Lynn Staeheli proves she can bend metal with her bare hands.  Brian Page is unimpressed.