“American Youth”, published worldwide by contrasto, will be in stores and available online May 2009.
If you think this might be a simplistic, dogmatic representation of youths in America, think again. These images show the reality of young America, populated by single mothers, gays and lesbians as much as by “normal” youngsters and families.
A series of photographs depict New York kids asking God a question, scribbled on a large board. They range from the comical (Can you hear me?) to the heart-breaking (What would my life be like if my mother was still alike?), not forgetting the philosophical (You “LOVE” everyone in the world. HOW???).
In San Marcos, Texas, Taryn Davis, the 24 year old founder of The American Widow Project, keeps her late husband’s Iraq war boots by the entrance inside their house, silent custodians of the pain she bears.
In Brecksville, Ohiο, Mariam Khalil celebrates her 19th birthday and ponders most of my friends choose to be friends with me for who I am, not because I’m Muslim.
20 year-old Pepper has been living on the streets for 5 years. She says she is just an alcoholic who was born on St. Patrick’s day. Elsewhere, New York highschool students drive luxurious cars to their prom.
While some girls travel to New York City in hopes of becoming successful models, others move to upper New York State to start farms. In Portland, Oregon, we find strippers making money in a different way.
But not all American Youth is in America. As the terse caption to this photo states: Soldiers fighting our war in Iraq.
And so it is that 18 to 20-somethings cohabit in the United States, laughing, crying, drinking, boxing, socialising, dancing, hurting, hoping… 25 photographers bring us almost 300 images as proof that while they Love, Live, Work and Play (the four categories the works are divided in) the only common link between American youths is their differences.
Such is America.
Find out more about the book, the photographers and Redux Pictures. If you are in New York on May 15, 2009, you might want to attend a panel discussion on the book to take place at The New York Photo Festival.