American Cheese

I can only offer you a slice of what I understand to be American. 
I’ve wandered so far passed, 
I’m present only for the past. 
So much so 
Home has become a memory, 
of a memory,
of a memory.     But…
This cheese don't melt.

I grew up with many photo albums filled with our lives from before I was born to this very day and for much of my life I took these photos for granted until one day my parents told me four to five albums were damaged by a flood in their apartment. 

I was devastated because many of those photos were blueprints to my identity and now they were destroyed.

This made me think heavily about the choices I made when I took photos. I also contemplated my use of social media and digital libraries. What made a photograph special to me? To keep? To share? To print?

In the Summer 2017 I decided to reclaim certain photographs from Instagram in order to re-examine my obsession with recording my life. It was a timely process of reclaiming my American representation through distortion in order to demonstrate their commonality and complexity.

Poem by Elan Cadiz

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