Our Town

Our Town

“ …Graffenrieds images showed New Bern in an unflatering, even racist, light.“
Sun Journal, New Bern, NC – Thursday, September 27, 2007

«When Swiss Roots, an organization that offers Americans a chance to trace their Swiss history, approached me with the idea of going to New Bern, I first said no. New Bern, where Pepsi Cola was born, is a small town in North Carolina. It was founded by a family ancestor, Christoph von Graffenried, who had sailed for America in 1710, and I felt I’d worked enough on Switzerland for the time being. But on second thoughts, I decided I could use this family tie to open up the doors of this uneventful town. I went there several times over the year 2006. I wanted to hand America a looking-glass. A first selection of 33 panoramic pictures was shown in New Bern under the name “Our Town – an inside look at the United States today ». New Bern’s inhabitants did not like my version of their American life. Over the course of two months, local newspaper The Sun published eight articles without once publishing a picture, be it to announce the exhibition or to illustrate the debate over the project. I wonder if the freedom of the press in America is so obvious after all.»

033flags 032PledgeofAllegiance2 031Mexicans 030chiefofpolice2 029PublicUrination 028Backyard 027Deckparty 026Pose 025BlackNeighbourhood 024Nightlife 023Heroes 022Weight loss 021HighschoolGirls 020Pregnancy 019FactoryWorker 018Guns 017Baseball Baseball, 2006, C-print / Aludibond, 298 x 125 cm, Édition : ap/3
016Nextdoor 015MuslimRefugees2 014SoupKitchen2 013Beauty 012Faith Cherry Point Marine Base, North Carolina, USA, 2006 (Serie Our Town)Underwater Marines, 2006, Lambda print, 298 x 125 cm, Édition : 1/3010Downtown2 009Proms 008Drugs 007BabyShower 006Wedding 005Survival 004CarWash2 003Graduation002School - Version 2 001Pledgeofallegiance


Michael von Graffenried talks with Phil Knight on Channel 12 about his project “Our Town” and the show in the Banks of the Arts in New Bern, NC (October 20, 2006)


Michael von Graffenried interviewed by US Cannel 12 on his starting project “Our Town, an inside look at the United States today” in front of the Town Hall in New Bern, NC (2006)