The American Teenager.
Photographs and text by Robin Bowman. Afterword by Robert Coles.
Umbrage Editions, New York, 2007. 160 pp.,
Robin Bowman’s five-year journey into the heart of teenage America created a series of 419 “collaborative portraits,” wherein she shares her discoveries of a generation now coming of age. In searing and intimate photographs, presented alongside the young people’s voices of passion, pride, embarrassment, lust, pain, bewilderment, anxiety, joy, uncertainty, and rage, the book charts the coming of age of the largest generation in America—77 million strong—in every region of the country and every socioeconomic group: from a Texas debutante to teenage gang members in New York City, from a drag queen in Georgia to a coal miner in West Virginia.
Bowman’s intimate photographs ask us to reconcile preconceived ideas and stereotypes of teenagers with the diversity of individuals in the portraits. This book and the traveling exhibition it accompanies are about the inside lives of these kids and how they see their reality in their own voices.
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