Convo is a new interview series produced exclusively for Annals of America and their first Convo happens to be with one of our talented friends, documentary photographer; Boogie. This interview sees him talk to Matthew Newton about the life and death of the American Dream, about how he sees and captures the world and what he wants to evoke with his images.
When you hear the term, “the American dream,” what does it mean to you?[The American dream] used to mean something, but now I think it’s dead. Before coming to the U.S., I had this vision of Americans starting their little business and succeeding based on their hard work and good ideas. Nowadays, you open your little coffee shop, you do great, and then Starbucks comes and destroys you. Or you pay your health insurance every month for years, then you get sick and the insurance company won’t cover you, so you go bankrupt. You hear more and more stories of normal, middle-class people struggling to meet ends. Doesn’t sound like a dream any more.
Do you think this means that life in America has become harder, or that life in the 21st Century is just more difficult as a whole?
I think life is more difficult in general, but it doesn’t make any sense to me. With all the technological advancements we see, people’s lives should be easier, not harder.
You are originally from Belgrade and moved to New York City in 1998. What prompted your move and what attracted you to settle in New York?
I never planned to come [to America], but I won a green card lottery—so I couldn’t not come. We had some family friends living in New York, and at first they offered me a place to stay. But a week before I left they changed their minds. I came anyway, stayed a week at a friend of a friend’s place, rented the first studio I could find in Queens, and the rest is the classic immigrant story.
Read the full interview here