I’ve always been interested in my own family’s immigrant origins. Where did we come from, and how does that make us who we are? How do parents, who emigrated to the U.S. from other places, help their children understand who they are, in their new world?
I met many immigrant families in my job as a social worker, and was fascinated to learn more about their lives. I began photographing the children, and listened to how they understood their family’s immigrant story. Photographing them in their homes, I love to see how they ‘become Americans’, and at the same time hold on to some of their identity from the home country. A mother from Pakistan dresses her daughter in a sari, and the little girl only wants Barbie dolls. A boy from Cape Verde plays African drums, and also loves baseball.
Children of the World is a story, in photographs and words, about children of immigrant families who live in the Boston area. My goal is to photograph children from different countries. I interview each family to learn about their experiences living in the U.S.. I ask the parents and children to talk about their identities. A 12 year-old boy said, “I was born in America, but my parents are from the Caribbean. I’m American by citizenship, but ‘American’ is just a label… my blood is from Dominica.”
I want to introduce these different worlds and cultures to a wider audience. My hope is that the viewer will learn something about the ‘children of the world’ here among us.