I’ve always had an affection for the country that continues to be superficially 'normal' and yet one of the strangest places on earth. I’ve worked more in America than any other country, and these pictures show selected fragments of my ongoing journey.
In the autumn of 1995 I decided to go and photograph Atlanta, before it hosted the 1996 summer Olympics.
Atlanta, Coca-Cola city and home of CNN, is a city of contradictions: the glitz of this capital of the so-called “New South”, with its high-rise downtown business centre, overshadows the fact that Atlanta is America’s second poorest city with a homeless population of over 20,000. It is a divided city: the poor and mainly black population live in the south while the rich, mainly white, live protected in their leafy suburbs to the north.
In a 1980 census Miami Beach was rated as the wrinkliest city in America with 50% of its population over 65, as well as one of the poorest. This period was the low water mark of the city constructed as an Art Deco escape from America’s Depression of the Twenties and Thirties. A curious mix of American society - Jewish, Hispanic, Black, Hasidic - now co-exists on this little, man-made strip of land, topped with fantasy buildings in pinks and blues.