Teenage Dream: Becoming American

4 thoughts on “Teenage Dream: Becoming American

  1. Thanks for posting about this Stephenie, it sounds like a really interesting exhibit! This reminded me of the Kitchen Conversations article about the dialogue series at the Tenement Museum. One of the successes from the dialogues Abrams highlights is getting people to consider a different point of view. Immigration is a highly contested topic that can be touchy for many people but I think that a little empathy and making a personal connection can go a long way in understanding the complex reasons people immigrate. In America, I feel like those personal connections can be lost sometimes in the media when broad generalizations are made that can lead to misunderstanding and fear. This exhibit seems like a good way for people to connect to the experience of immigration through a new lens and in a personal way by learning about the experiences of these individual teens.

  2. “The teenagers portrayed within the exhibit Becoming American had a lot of control within the project…It was surprising how open the teenagers were willing to be.”

    A great case study of community curating. A lot of times, it seems the photographer, curator, or other “expert” assumes the responsibility of composing a photograph or describing a subject–enter the term, “interpretation.” When Beirne gives the teenagers an active role in the exhibition, they open up and share what (in my opinion) is the most important perspective on their experiences–their own!

  3. Yes! We often never hear the viewpoint of teenage immigrants, as if their experience is not as important as the ones who made the decision to move. You said “Immigrant parents move their families for the freedom found in a better life,” and I agree with that statement completely, but I want to add not only freedom in a better life but also to find more opportunities for their families. I say this because I am a first-generation American and my mother made the decision to move to the United States so her children can have better opportunities, and I have other friends and family members whose parents have done the same.

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