Martina Borsche – This American Dream

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America has long lured us to her shores with the promise of the American Dream: Opportunity, prosperity, and success, regardless of your social circumstances. That through hard work and dedication anybody can achieve anything. The belief that economic independence is just around the corner, and that with homeownership begins the steady climb of upward mobility. That your toils guarantee a better, richer and fuller life for your children. That they will grow up safe in a land of opportunity, receive a good education, develop to their full potential, without any limitations. As Americans we are born to this national ethos and raised on an idealized vision of American life. With the dawn of mass media came a steady diet of cookie-cutter visions of this American Dream. A car, a home, a family – an upwardly mobile life with the promise of success for each following generation. We reached the apex of this rise without noticing, and now, find ourselves a society holding fast to ideals that do not hold true and may have never been meant for some at all. White America is just waking up to the reality that our system is inherently selective. The American Dream stopped at red lines across America. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, but not in the suburbs. And now that the foundations of our dreams are crumbling, we realize that we have fallen vastly behind the rest of the developed world. Antagonistic politics weaponize the idea of American exceptionalism against us. They promote the idea that Americans are, by birth, elect, even as they deny citizens access to clean water, universal healthcare, or a decent education. This American Dream is an ongoing visual documentation based on my perception of my birth country, the United States, and how the concept of the American Dream does not reflect the reality and opportunities available to those that live it.

Martina Borsche (1988) is a photographer based in Munich, Germany.

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