Jonathan Forsythe & Thomas Venker - Talking to Americans - Photographs & Interviews
"Whoever’s running the show, the United States of America always looms large. But almost two decades into the twenty-first century, what do its actual people think about their lives, their hopes, their futures?
Perhaps that most American of activities, a road trip, could provide some answers. The idea for an expedition all the way across the US had been hanging in the air between myself and photographer Jonathan Forsythe for a long time. We’d worked together for over a decade, whenever music journalism had brought me from Cologne, Germany to New York. During this time our work flourished into a friendship and our conversations gradually ranged beyond our professional cultural endeavours to the current state of the USA.
The election of Donald Trump as president was the deciding factor: we wanted to experience with our own eyes and ears what makes this country tick, hearing it in the voices of its own people. Our manifesto? Visit at least one different US city every day for three weeks and simply approach someone at random, catch their eye and start a conversation.
One thing overwhelmed us both: people’s openness, their readiness to share the private details of their lives with two foreign tourists. To be photographed as they go about their day. Turns out the only thing stopping us were the fears in our heads." - Thomas Venker