My name is Andrew and I’m a world traveller. I’m 26 and I’m from the United Kingdom.
I have been coming to the United States intermittently since 2004 after I spent a summer working in Maine. I have been fortunate enough to make 3 further extended trips out here meeting wonderful people in every one of the 24 States I have, so far, passed through. Amongst these people I have found some of my closest friends, my deepest love, most painful heartbreak and some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever shared a conversation with.
Through these conversations and interaction with Citizens over recent years, especially since the 2008 election of President Obama, I have come to consider the concerning polarization of ordinary folk in today’s United States and the willingness to, often immediately, back into their red or blue corners and from that moment shape their interactions, perceptions, opinions and subsequent dealings with others around one simple subject – Political persuasion.
My M.O is simple. I want to bring it back from politics, to people. I am going to spend some time trying to document what binds Americans, all Americans. Black, Brown, Young, Rich, Latino, Poor, Old, White, Obese, Democrat and Republican, Christian, Muslim and Jew.
“Talking to Strangers” posts real thoughts from Americans all over the nation who have been blindsided by me in a gas station, supermarket, park, bus station, train seat, parking lot, shopping mall, café or anywhere else. I’ve asked them to tell me about themselves and how they feel about various subjects.
Those who have let me in have their words recorded here for you to see. I’ve talked to strangers, met someone new and have heard what they have to say.
You might not like everything you read but within these words can you attempt to recognize the similarities and not the differences. What makes you American and what can bring you closer together?