Finding American: Stories of Immigration features stories of immigrants living in each of the 50 states. In close collaboration with the participants, documentary photographer Colin Boyd Shafer creates intimate audio-visual essays telling the story of each individual’s birth outside of the United States, their unique journey to their new home, as well as their hopes and dreams for the future.
Given the increasing negativity towards immigrants in the United States, there is value in telling honest stories about people who have migrated to the world’s most diverse country – a country built on immigration. This series presents the complicated nature of the human experience, especially when migration is involved. In these stories, you will find peoples of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, religions, political views, and socio-economic situations.
Shafer believes in the power of individual stories, and in their ability to effectively humanize “the other.” In 2014 Shafer photographed someone from every country of the world who has immigrated to Toronto, Canada, for his project Cosmopolis Toronto. In 2015 he spent a year documenting 50 stories of interfaith love for his project INTERLOVE.
In the future, the dream is that an exhibition and book tour of Finding American: Stories of Immigration will travel to every state. If you are interested in helping bring Finding American to your city or you are a member of the press looking to feature the project, please get in touch. Thank you!
@colinboydshafer | colin.b.shafer [at] gmail.com | colinboydshafer.com