American Pictures

Cover and lay-out: Kitte Fennestad
American consultant: Camilla Decarnin
Special editor: Karen Duff
Production: Nørhaven
Printed in Denmark 1985
© American Pictures Foundation ISBN 87-981702-0-1

All rights reserved. Published by the American Pictures Foundation, Copenhagen.



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.
...George Santayana

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 choice.
...Albert Camus

'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 Tommy 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.




Copyright © 2005 AMERICAN PICTURES; All rights reserved.


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