THE GOOD OLD DAYS
On November 8, 2016, the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, was elected on the campaign promise to "Make American Great Again," thus, restoring the country to its Good Old Days.
But, what are "the good old days?" And, just who were they good for?
Which pieces of our history is this administration promising to restore? And which pieces are they promising to leave behind? Who are they leaving behind?
What do the economic, political and social landscapes of the "good old days" look like?
And, furthermore, how is this vision of America and it’s “good old days” woven into the feeling of what it means to be American?
In order to answer these questions, we must turn to the stories of the people – all the people and all the stories that weave the history of this country together, not just the stories of the winners and the victors.
When the stories of American History are told they are often whitewashed and generalized with the details and personal stories of the poor, the marginalized, and the suffering left on the cutting room floor. Too many people and pieces of our nation are left out.
But our history holds everybody – the poor, the marginalized, the immigrant, the imprisoned, the veteran, the workers of rural lands and narrow urban streets – not just the people who triumphed, not just those who fit the idealized version of America and what it means to uphold the American Dream.
Those on the losing end of the equation need to tell their stories too. And those of us who benefit from the violences and oppressions of our nation have to grapple with the stories and lineage of the silenced.
Tell me, when you think of "the good old days" what hopes do those visions bring to you? What do you feel you are losing and what do you hope to gain?
The Good Old Days project is a photographic vessel for those stories and a visual diary of this country's fractured and contradictory identities. I want to uncover and excavate the silenced stories that are a part of our collective history, the ones that sadden, and embarrass, and outrage us and the ones that allow us to dream. I want to find out who the "good old days" belong to and who they exclude, the lifestyles that are celebrated and the ones that are dismissed.
I invite people, young and old, to contribute their stories and the stories passed down by the generations before them – about their experiences of the "good old days" – whatever they might be – of victory or defeat, hope or fear, nostalgia or silenced pain, fight or flight, forbidden love or instilled hate. And from those contributions I will create images and offer them forward to our nation to grapple with our collective history.
I invite you to tell the story of your family and lineage, your personal hopes and dreams for yourself and the country, too. Your story will be the seed that grows these images, and our conversation will be used to generate a greater collective contribution to the dialogue and vision of what it really means to be American and what it really means to live “The Good Old Days.”
All voices are welcome and I would love to hear yours. If you would like to contribute to this project, use the scheduling link here to set up a telephone interview OR take the time you need in filling out the typeform below (scroll all the way down).
For the first six months of this project I will be listening.
I trust that the stories, conversations, threads, secrets, and shadows that want to emerge and guide this project will be told. In the late summer of 2017, following these initial conversations, I will begin to create a series of twelve photographic images that are rooted in these stories and which contribute to a larger cultural conversation about what it means to be American.
Before our session can be confirmed, you will be asked to sign an interview release. This release will be emailed to you after you have scheduled your interview time and requires details such as your name and contact information (that will remain confidential) for record keeping. However, you have the option to keep your stories and words anonymous. There is no obligation to reveal your name and personal details alongside your words, stories, or interview during the photographic process and/or publication of this project.
Additionally, I am certain there will be times when a personal story inspires a photograph, and as a result I may request your consent to include excerpts of your personal stories in partnership with the publication of the photograph. These excerpts may be displayed online, in a gallery setting or in a book next to the image it has inspired.
I thank you for your interest in this project.
I thank you for your time.
I thank you for your heart.
I thank you for your courage.
I thank you for committing to this conversation about what it means to be American and what it means to live...
The Good Old Days.
SHARE YOUR STORY
by scheduling a private and confidential interview.
*To schedule a telephone interview please use the calendly link here.
*To contribute your stories through a confidential electronic form, please use the typeform below. (If you are on a mobile device please use this form.)
*To stay up to date on the developments of this project, sign up to The Good Old Days email list here.
*Know someone who would be interested in participating in this project? Share this link with your friends:
Thank you! Looking forward to connecting with you!