If you've seen Rent, then you probably have a pretty good idea of what squatting entails—except in reality, it's far less glamorous than being an indie documentarian avoiding your cranky mother.

During the 1970s and '80s, squatters filled abandoned homes and apartment buildings in droves all over New York City. In the 1990s the movement became less organized, but still persisted. The Lower East Side remained heavily populated with law-thwarting youths into the 2000s, when it became one of NYC's most gentrified areas. Now we're seeing a comeback of twenty-somethings who are hoping to sustainably live beyond capitalism. In celebration of the lifestyle, here are excerpt images from Ash Thayer's Kill City: Lower East Side Squatters 1992-2000, which will be released April 2nd through powerHouse Arena. 

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All images c/o Ash Thayer, cover c/o powerHouse