“We are and always will be a nation of immigrants.
We were strangers once, too.”
The gamble paid off. We found ourselves in a surprisingly diverse place, full of deeply generous people, all of whom were excited for us. All of whom wanted to share some part of their story with us. We spent two nights there, talking to people and taking their portraits--Carnival workers, Mexican and Haitian families, Italian grandmas, white teens & and black college students. So many amazing, fascinating characters.
I found it to be an uplifting experience. One that reminds me to reach out to people personally when I'm feeling disheartened by the world; that strangers are still capable of kindness and warmth. And that people still like art, and are honored to be involved.
It’s an experience I will hang onto for a long time.
In July of 2016, my dear friend Little Strike and I produced a track together called come out alright. At the end of the process we decided to go all the way and make a music video for it too. Tamar is an immigrant to the US, so I thought it would be interesting to put her in a quintessentially American environment and document her experience. Perhaps her perspective would illuminate something interesting. We looked around for ideas for a few weeks, until we found a traveling carnival in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It was perfect.
Tamar is from the Middle East, and the Pine Barrens can be awfully rural. Honestly, I was a little concerned about what we were getting ourselves into--with cameras no less. But my gut said it could be a special idea, so my crew put their trust in me and we packed up our gear and drove an hour out to Hammonton, NJ.