Last September, Newest Americans participated in Photoville, the largest festival of photojournalism in New York City, drawing over 80,000 visitors. This visual extravaganza at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge uses shipping containers as galleries. We decided to use our exhibition as an opportunity not only to share our work, but to ask visitors to lend their voices in representing who we are and how we got here. Our Arrivals Booth – where visitors could take a photograph and share their stories about how they and their families came to the United States – drew over 500 people. The result is in an incredible mosaic of human migration, resilience and cross pollination. It is a celebration of the complex factors that brought us together at this moment in this place. What could be more salient at a time when our nation is debating what it means to be American and who deserves to claim that mantle?
Here are a few of the people who privileged us with their stories. To see more, click the red arrow at the bottom.