Childhood in America today is much more complex than it has ever been. I was lucky enough to be raised in the 80’s and 90’s, when children still had a sense of freedom and independence. There were very few worries and I was able to go on adventures and express myself freely. I was not concerned about what was going on in the world, who was president, or whether I might be shot, kidnapped, hurt, sick, or addicted to anything. I could be myself.
In the past, children were forced to work like adults but today’s modern child is forced to think like an adult. We are raising children within a culture heavily dominated by the entertainment industry and the media. We are hammering them with social rules and stereotypes, regulating them, over scheduling them, while over protecting and sheltering them at the same time. We drag them through our own social battles and expect the same from them. At the end of the day we offer them electronic devices to quiet and entertain them so we don’t have to.
I create my images utilizing negative panoramic space, breaking the quotidian of the photographic frame. The subject is isolated and alone, a child’s hands are raised, often holding up a simple object to bring a visual narrative of what it is like being “Raised in America.”
All images & text © Nolan Streitberger
By Nolan Streitberger