Lindsay Godin was born in May of 1992. She was raised in the countryside of Hunterdon County, located in west-central New Jersey. She developed a liking for photography and design in her early adolescence, and started refining her skills working at a local photography studio during her senior year of high school. After high school, she attended East Stroudsburg University where she majored in Art & Design with a minor in Media Communications (Photography Track). Following graduation, Lindsay applied and got accepted in 2014 into the Summer Residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. This was an exceptional experience where her photographic work was critiqued by nationally acclaimed photographers who encouraged her to continue her training with a MFA. During the year that she applied to graduate schools, Lindsay continued the development of her artistic skills by completing a Post-Bachelors Digital Photography Certificate at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Lindsay is currently attending the University of Iowa MFA Program in Studio Arts, with a primary concentration in Photography, and a minor concentration in Graphic Design. With her graduate teaching assistantship, she teaches digital photography for non-majors and introduction to digital photography for BFA students.
This photographic series depicts the various ways in which school children are exposed to American nationalism. From the primary grades to the secondary schools, children are continuously messaged with patriotism, loyalty and Americanism. These messages can range from subtle to those that are ostentatious. Our next generation of citizens receives a plethora of propaganda illustrating the necessary beliefs and proper attitudes to be good citizens. Children are taught to blindly support our country and renounce any criticism of our republic as being un-American. The repeated messages include the romanticism of historical events including the wars we magnificently fought and the nations we successfully conquered. Lacking in these images are the liberty of thought and the promotion of speculation to determine what is.
Our country finds itself at a crossroad. Possibly, there is a hidden common core within our educational system that needs to be challenged. In order to create good citizens, perhaps we need a common core that challenges the existing propaganda which no longer is anchored in reality. The American public feels entitled for our nation to have greatness without requiring effort. Yet, greatness can only be achieved through a process of innovation, evolution and adaptation. An effective common core should instill the next generation to continuously question the status quo, recognize the sources of our national problems, and most importantly provide skills to effectively implement solutions. We need a new common core of nationalism to influence the next generation to effectively solve our nation’s biggest challenges.
To view more of Lindsay’s work, visit her website.