Colin Boyd Shafer is a Canadian documentary photographer and social sciences educator. I came to know Colin and his work through his previous projects, INTERLOVE which tells interfaith love stories in Ontario, and Cosmopolis Toronto, a project that features someone from every country of the world who now calls Toronto home.
His latest project, the hardcover book Finding American: Stories of Immigration from the 50 States has just been released by Figure 1 Publishing Inc.
Disturbed by the increasingly hostile views of immigrants that arose in the United States during the 2016 presidential election, Colin set out on a road trip to meet hundreds of families and individuals with roots abroad who now live in the United States.
The result, after a year of travel covering fifty thousand miles, is Finding American… This collection of striking photos and moving stories create a portrait of the USA’s complex and shifting relationship to immigration. Some of the participants chose to make the USA home; others were displaced by crises.
Some were warmly welcomed and granted citizenship; others battled the immigration system for years and still live with fear and uncertainty. Their circumstances and origins vary, but all share a willingness to share their stories — from difficult journeys to passionate activism. Their stories and portraits in this book provide an intimate and more personal look at the complex issue that is immigration.
I had the opportunity to speak with Colin about his photographic work and Finding American… He shared details about his journey through the US, the people he met, and his intentions for this book.
To obtain your own copy of Finding American…, I also encourage you to visit your local book store. You can also order the book through Figure 1 Publishing Inc., as well as Amazon (US), Barnes & Noble (US), Bookshop (US), Amazon (CAN), and Indigo (CAN)).