S. Adam Cook
Between 1880-1920s, the United States experienced the most significant relocation of Italian immigrants - over 4 million. Known today as the 'Great Arrival,' this dramatic surge was the result of decades of internal strife happening across the country. It left society rife with violent uprisings, widespread poverty, and soon the rise of Mussolini. The following decades saw Italian immigrants faced with hardships dealing with a landscape and culture that was unknown to them and discrimination from those who did not approve of their arrival.
For this body of work, archives from the Terracina family were selected starting after their migration from Italy to the United States (1910) up until they assimilated into the Cajun culture in Bayou Teche Louisiana (the 1950s). Photo's in this particular time frame were chosen because of the striking discrepancies between what the photographs depict on the surface–images of family bliss and cultural representation, and the conflicts they faced being immigrants. What these petals represent is the cultural displacement a migrant family faces when adopted by a land and culture that is not their own, and the frailty of maintaining their original customs during a time of cultural assimilation.
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