Independent Journalism - Trump's America

by Joe Boswell in Florida

We did it
On 17th September 2017 we successfully raised £160 with 7 supporters in 14 days

I'm raising funds to visit the States to report on the fallout from the 2016 presidential election, one year on.

by Joe Boswell in Florida

Okay, so my name is Joe Boswell, and I'm a writer.

Last autumn - in the midst of the US election - I wrote a series of photo-illustrated political dispatches, reporting live from the streets of Chicago and New York via Facebook. And in January - with the help of supportive readers - I travelled to Washington DC to cover the presidential inauguration and the Women's March in a similar fashion. I'm now looking to return to the US to document the fallout from Trump's election, one year on.

You can read my previous dispatches on my website: https://joeboswell.co.uk/political-writing/. And if you want to keep-up-to-date with the latests posts, you can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/clockworktinsoldier.

If you've read my stuff, you'll know I'm not a typical journalist. I'm not interested in offering a blow-by-blow account of current events. I want to go deeper than that. My focus is the ground level of US politics - the people. I want to listen to their stories, their anxieties, their dreams, their resentments - and I want to understand the beliefs that take hold in this context through the lens of the individuals that adopt them.

In particular, I want to understand how attitudes to Trump have evolved over the course of this past year. Is his popularity waning, or is that wishful thinking on the part of the left? Have the two sides of America learnt any lessons about one another? Or is a runaway political polarisation propelling the country toward more violence of the kind we witnessed in Charlottesville? 

Here's how I plan to find out. I have just over a month - starting now - to devote to this. How ambitious I get depends on you.

If I can raise over £500 - roughly half my expenses - I'll be able to commit to a week's trip and five dispatches. At the top of my hitlist are two very different right-wing gatherings.

On Tuesday 12th of September the white nationalist and Alt-Right ringleader Richard Spencer intends to make an address at the University of Florida. I hope to be able to speak to both his supporters and the counter protesters. And on Saturday 16th of September, thousands of Trump supporters plan to attend the so-called 'Mother of All Rallies' in Washington DC - an event billed by its organisers as an attempt to unite "mainstream Americans" around an anti-racist but pro-Trump message. A contradiction in terms? I'll let you know.

If I can raise over £1000 I may be able to attend both events. That amount of money would also give me the chance to seek out those seek out those forgotten communities away from the media spotlight in both the inner cities and rural America. And along the way I hope to catch up with a number of people I've written about in previous dispatches, and keep you up-to-date with their lives.

Finally - if I fail to raise £500 - my back-up plan is to produce a series of "flashback" dispatches, consisting in untold stories from my previous trips. If you'd like to hear about my conversations with actors, artists and activists in post-election California last November, or about the time a Trump-supporting hillbilly came to my rescue on a hillside in Snoqualmie, Washington - otherwise known as Twin Peaks - please help me fund the time to sit and write.

Thank you.

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An original photographic print from the trip.


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