Suburb Study

Suburbs are iconic of the "American Dream". It was a dream that I always desired as a young girl. I grew up between two homes. One being my father's in the inner city and the other being my mother's and step-father's home in the hills, in a swath of farming towns. Both sides of my family lived in the economic gray area of the bottom bracket of middle class or the top bracket of poverty. I remember when my mother made attempts to move away from my step-father into a small single floor duplex that had a hole in the ceiling in which our landlord would never fix. I would dream about living in the homes we drove past on the way to my grandmother's home in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio; so much, that I would scour the real-estate ads and develop stories about what my life would be like if I lived in one of the "nice" homes. There was something that made me feel like an outsider, less than, because I didn't have a home like the ones I saw in the middle-class suburbs.  

As a young adult and a single parent, my housing situation remained rather unstable. At the age of 27 with a 6 year old child, I decided to rent my first real suburban home with my mother. We were both renting apartments and decided the support would be good for one another. At this time in my life though, my view of the suburban home had shifted quite a bit. I found them isolating and focused on capitalistic, individualistic, patriarchal way of surviving which was oppressive to large populations of people. It also created a need for strip malls and other kinds of harmful development. The idea of living in a suburb was completely alien to me. I documented my first year living in an all American suburb using disposable cameras.