There’s a place in the popular American imagination called Main Street—a Norman Rockwell scene where the butcher, baker, and barber all hang out their signs and sweep their stoops, where emerald baseball fields are immaculately groomed, and where the town gathers on a Friday night to cheer the high school football team to victory. If this vision of the idyllic Main Street America is flawed, it’s because it’s based on a nostalgic vision of the past that rings dissonant when compared to the reality that many Americans face today, especially amidst a global pandemic: a shrinking economy, a housing crisis, outdated infrastructure, and political division.
Our resident contributor from India will no longer be writing and photographing from South Asia for us. She has changed continents. Again. Which is no straightforward undertaking, as she describes here.
The traditional ideal of community structure was rooted in individuals’ formation of living groups derived from families and built through doing apprenticeships, seeking education, and returning to or remaining near the area where one was raised (generally within a 20-mile radius). In contemporary modernized society this ideal has become a relic as individuals no longer feel the need to remain near their place of birth. In addition, every year immigration and social change lead influxes of people to move to or within North America. Armon A. Means delves into resulting questions of individual and societal identity through his latest road trip photographic project.
Editor’s Note on behalf of the Culture Keeper team.
BY KAMI L. RICE
While we hadn’t planned to post new content in August, in order to give us time to prepare fresh articles to kick off the fall edition of Culture Keeper, the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the conversation they have set off have prompted us out of our planned quietness.