Cross Country Tripping in Pre-Election America
Four years ago in 2008, photographer Grace Villamil and writer Yumiko Sakuma left New York for a back-to-back cross country trip on an assignment for Japanese magazine COYOTE. It was meant to be a tribute to Robert Frank's AMERICANS for its 50 year anniversary, but coincidentally, the country was in the midst of its presidential election season. With no specific itinerary or agenda, the idea was to drive into unknown towns, small and large, and do portraits of everyday Americans. And in the end, we published a story "20 Americans” with those 20 selected portraits. Not only did we come away with a stunning collection of landscapes and portraits, but we were also blessed with unforgettable experiences: we hung out at a dirt bike race in Breezewood, Pennsylvania, stayed overnight at a fort in Marfa, Texas, had breakfast with an old cowboy who lived with two wolves in a national park in Presidio Texas, hitched a ride in a crop-duster from a family who called President Obama “a baby killer” in Pioneer, Louisiana, and stumbled upon on a pot farm in Northern, California. Four years later, with the next election coming up, we decided to head out again. So starting October 13th, we are taking off for another round of trips and we will broadcast it on Periscope. Stay tuned.