Cover and lay-out: Kitte Fennestad
American consultant: Camilla Decarnin
Special editor: Karen Duff
Printed in Denmark 1985
© American Pictures Foundation ISBN 87-981702-0-1
All rights reserved. Published by the American Pictures Foundation,
Call me not a citizen of Athens, but a citizen of the world.
My country is the whole world.
To me it seems a dreadful thing to have a soul controlled by geography.
My country is the whole world, and my religion is to do good.
...Thomas Paine, Rights of Man
We are asked to love or to hate such and such a country and such and such a
people. But some of us feel too strongly our common humanity to make such a
'The rebel: There is not anywhere in the world a poor creature who's been
lynched or tortured in whom I am not murdered and humiliated...
...Aime Cesaire: "Les Armes Miraculeuses"
We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
...Martin Luther King
A book is rarely the work of one person, and a photo and travel book
certainly becomes a very collaborative effort. I have in this book decided not
to mention or changed all but a few of the real names. This saddens me since
all but a few exploitative street photos are the result not only of people's
hospitality, but usually of their strong cooperation, interaction and trust in
me - as well as their later approval. Among the people who helped make the book
I would especially like to thank those who gave me encouragement and financial
donations during my trip: Alice Turak ($10), John Ray ($20), Susan Kennedy
($30), Cary Ridders ($50), Allan Tunick (15 rolls of film). A very special
thanks to Eveleen Henry and
Marly Sockol for storing my slides and to
Howard for lending me his old Buick with several tanks of gas. Thanks to Dick
Boggle for donating a car, which enabled me to bring the show to most of the
people in the book. Also I would like to thank Susan Hermann, Annie Rush, David
Miller, and the others who - in their impatience to get this book out in
America - helped make translations of it. For criticism and feedback over
several years, through which many of the ideas in the book grew, I am deeply
indebted to Tony Harris, Jerry Justice and Howie Pinderhughes. Two women,
however, have had a very special and deep impact on this book in its present
form. Both of them have been invaluable for me in interpretating and clarifying
my ideas and intentions. One of them is Camilla Decarnin, who wrote me the most
critical letters I have ever received upon seeing my show in San Francisco, yet
wrote from a deep sense of solidarity with its "message." I therefore asked her
to help select those texts which would be of interest for Americans and to rid
my translated English of too much "European" polemic. In our unending
discussions on how the various parts would be understood by Americans, we
discovered enormous differences between our two cultures. Where Camilla in her
editing of the text tried to "translate" my Danish view to Americans, in the
layout of the pictures I gave Kitte Fennestad a free hand to interpret my
feelings in her own Danish way. I love her layout because it is so
uncompromising and hope American and British readers will appreciate it - pure
as she is in her choice of photos and constellations which may seem provocative
within other cultures. It is not an easy job to choose from 15,000 pictures,
but working with Kitte for several years, we gradually arrived at this result.
AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.