“In this contentious moment in history, the stories we tell are a social responsibility.” —Sandra Cisneros

How does the photographer navigate our new national order? As debates about the economic future of the United States continue into a controversial presidential administration, the spring issue of Aperture, “American Destiny,” offers an urgent reflection on photography, labor, and community. From agricultural workers to those toiling on the factory floor, from regional cities weathering years of postindustrial decline to refugee populations assimilating into the heartland, the photographers featured in this issue are bound by a desire to reveal how lives are shaped by the ebb and flow of the economy. “American Destiny” maps geographies of economic promises unfulfilled, weighing how the interrelated factors of class, sexism, education, shifting demographics, racism, and stagnant wages have influenced social life in the United States.

Sara Knelman on Photoanalysis, 1973

Collectors: The Travel Writers
Contributions by William Finnegan, Pico Iyer, Suketu Mehta, and Stephanie Rosenbloom

Kaya Genç on Istanbul

by Moyra Davey and Jason Simon

Object Lessons
Worker Badges from G. & G. Precision Works, ca. 1940

Editors’ Note: American Destiny

Witness: LaToya Ruby Frazier in Conversation with Kellie Jones
The enduring images of the civil rights movement

The Working Life
How do photographs describe the work we do?
by David Campany

Chauncy Hare's Protest
A trenchant view of 1970s America
by Rebecca Bengal

Central Valley: Katy Grannan in Conversation with Sarah M. Miller
Under blinding sunlight, the people of Highway 99

Fred Lonidier: The Agitator
Labor relations, union dues, and visual activism
by Brian Wallis

Allan Sekula: Aerospace Folktales
Dreams and illusions of the postwar economy
by Drew Sawyer

Gregory Halpern
Introduction by Brian Sholis

Alessandra Sanguinetti
Introduction by Chris Jennings

Carolyn Drake
Introduction by Garnette Cadogan

Mark Neville
Introduction by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa

Kathya Maria Landeros
Introduction by Sandra Cisneros

Anthony Lepore
Introduction by Jonathan Griffin

Jim Goldberg & Donovan Wylie
Introduction by Laura Wexler and Chris Klatell

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