Looking anew at the American landscape's oft-neglected corners through an instant camera
There is beauty in the swing ride at the Mississippi State Fair, seats suspended against an azure sky. There is humor in the giant statue of a hotdog alongside a highway in Lesage, West Virginia.
Photographer Maye-E Wong was part of a team that drove the backroads during the run-up to the 2020 election. She illustrated stories about currents of racial tension that still ripple through towns that once expelled Black people, about how claims of a gentler political culture in Utah turned out to be far more complicated than the folklore. Above, people spin around in an amusement ride at the annual Mississippi State Fair. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Fully in the moment, Wong used the camera to compile a visual diary — “a collective portrait of a dysfunctional family,” as she describes it. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Tasha Lamm, 30, kisses her girlfriend Alicia Mullins, 22, in Bidwell, Ohio. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Trump supporters Roger Plott, 65; Bill Stevens, 76; Rick Warren, 65, and Jim Rainbolt 57, stand outside The Gunsmoke Club. Their clubhouse is an old gas station which later turned into a convenience store and is now a gathering place for a dozen or so friends. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Exquisite images of a Mississippi cotton field and bison grazing in Utah give way to shots that are less so — a Dollar General in Kentucky, abandoned cars. There is irony in a Superman statue, usually a favourite spot for tourists to pose in Metropolis, Illinois. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
The Instax photos — tangible, color-saturated art-on-the-spot — capture slices of American life and the American landscape. Above, children watch a pig race at the annual Mississippi State Fair. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E