In late 2017, along with two writers, I was tasked by REPUBLIK, a brand new Swiss publication, to travel across the US to dissect and ultimately document the divided country. Author Yvonne Kunz writes in the opening paragraph about the task in front of us - translated from German:
"We want to plunge into this world, deep into this rugged America. We want to delve into the valleys between red and blue, Democrats and Republicans, between good and evil, tradition and progression. We want to find a piece of truth within the clichés of a country where the center has not held, where the invisible fabric of a society seems torn. A land within its soul a battle rages. Our trip will take us from New York to the border in the very South. From the Gulf of Mexico across the continent to Los Angeles: West Virginia, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix. In 28 days from coast to coast. Will the unemployed coal miners who Donald Trump promised "jobs, jobs, jobs" still celebrate? How does a black feminist in this America of toxic masculinity feel? And all the inconspicuous people in between: Do they still care, or do they march into the political apathy on beat with Trump's tweeted tirades? It is an America in turmoil. A US whose global standing as a world power is shaking. With a president who used drastic words for the inauguration of his country's state: Fire and fury. Waste and decay. An America that the world can no longer rely on, as Angela Merkel remarked, when a few months later she renounced the transatlantic alliance from a beer tent in Bavaria.The world stared in shock at the white rage of the neo-Nazis, racists, and Ku-Klux-Klan followers who carried their torches and Confederate flags through Charlottesville, Virginia. Their slogan: "Unite the Rights". They wanted to set a signal against the annihilation of American history, against the genocide of the white man. One of the racists went crazy, racing his car into a group of counter-demonstrators, killing a woman and injuring nineteen people. President Trump condemned "violence from all sides". And stated: Not all demonstrators were racists. There were "very fine people" on both sides. What are perceived facts, what is a resilient reality? What is the job of a journalist in a reality where the world becomes a disk, global warming a Chinese hoax, and Hillary Clinton the leader of a child porn ring? In a digital world where conspiracy theories and propaganda explain the world and in which emotions and opinions suddenly become facts? Where truth is belief and belief is truth? In a world that not only transcends beyond truth, but beyond reason?"
The published project can be seen at the links below. At this time only in German.
The following photographs aim to portray America in the early 21st century.