Ramak Fazel, 20 January 2009

As Featured in Reportage
on Fantom First Issue / Summer 2009

The weather was the most effective form of crowd control. 1,8 million arrived in the predawn hours on the National Mall and snuggled closely together, tucked in sleeping bags, blankets and makeshift windbreaks made from piles of cardboard trash. At 10 a.m. the Smithsonian opened its doors. Many had been on the mall since before dawn. They were cold. They were hungry. They needed rest. Some had never before visited the (or a) museum. So they simply sat down on the floor and drifted to sleep. The Navajo Times reports that by 4 p.m. thousands were dozing on the museum floors. “Staff tiptoed around, letting them rest until the museum closed.” (NMAI News Service, Jan 24, 2009)