top of page
AmberBrackenWP01-GR-edit-300px.jpg
Logo_trans.png

THE AMERICA ISSUE
Fall 2022

Published by the Social Documentary Network

hamburgerMenu-3.png
karen

America Issue portfolios 10-18
 

White Nationalism

Anthony Karen

While documenting an ongoing project on the Ku Klux Klan, I came in contact with several organizations within the White nationalist movement. I’ve had the unique opportunity to photograph many of these groups without restriction over the past thirteen years and I will continue to do so for the long-term. The following images are a look into their private and social lives. View more images on the SDN website.

chang

Has Godot Arrived?

Eric Chang

In Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot, the main characters wait endlessly by the side of a road for Godot to arrive. Perhaps they are waiting because his presence will give meaning to their lives? Has Godot arrived in the form of Trump for many of his followers? This personal project was undertaken in an attempt to answer this question by creating a relationship with one of Trump’s passionate followers, Tommy Smith from Edinburg, Virginia, and thereby understanding more broadly what motivates his followers to believe Trump’s lies. View more images on the SDN website.

simas

Sex Trafficking: An American Story

Matilde Simas

When people hear that someone was trafficked, it’s often assumed they were kidnapped and forced into labor against their will. Trafficking can be much more insidious. People are often exploited by someone they already know.

 

In this photo documentary, we listen to the story of Cary Stuart, an American survivor of forced commercial sexual exploitation, who was lured into the world of trafficking by a romantic partner or “Romeo Pimp.” In the series, she reflects on her experience, the way it has impacted her mental state, and the ongoing challenges of working through drug addiction. Addiction to drugs can be both a vulnerability to trafficking, and a common tactic used by traffickers to make victims more compliant.

 

While the prevalence of sex trafficking in the U.S. is still unknown, we do know that women, children, and men are being sold for sex against their will in all 50 states. In 2014, the Urban Institute studied the underground commercial sex economy in eight U.S. cities and estimated that this illicit activity generated between $39.9 million and $290 million in revenue depending on the city. View more images on the SDN website.

Working Ohio

Steve Cagan

 

Living in Cleveland, I’ve witnessed the dramatic decline of what was a major industrial center, where thousands of people worked in good-paying, secure jobs, creating, building, and producing through physical and mental strength. That is largely—but not entirely—gone.

 

Today, the media talks about trying to recover jobs lost during the pandemic. Jobs lost between the 1970s and early 21st century aren’t even discussed any more.

 

And those people who still work in Cleveland in union jobs—in what remains of our industry—are unseen and unappreciated by the media and the art world.

We documentarians must present people not only as victims of social problems, but also as strong, creative, resistant—which in fact they are. View more images on the SDN website.

cagan