Milan, New Mexico


Milan New Mexico is an ongoing series that explores the phenomenon of North American towns that have been named after other cities of the world. Following a sustained period of research and mapping this project uses photography to explore the connection between these “new” and “old” cities as well as their relationship with preconceived notions concerning North American culture and biculturalism.

These towns can be seen as metaphors for the children of immigrants; there is a parallel between how we perceive these individuals and our expectations of these towns. Similarly this project examines how we expect and project certain cultural elements based on their provenance.

Influenced by the works of Joel Sternfield, Alec Soth and Stephen Shore these images serve as a way to explore North American culture and a sense of longing and nostalgia. These photographs were taken on road trips, a definitive symbol of our continental culture to re-examine our relationship to the land, its architecture and the ethos of where we live. How did these hundreds of towns come to appear all across North America and what connection can be drawn between these cities and the “original” places after which they we named? How are expectations of specific cultures shaped? How does this phenomenon play in a broader sense of stereotyping visual cultural identity? How do these images shape our understanding of North American landscape?