Looking anew at the American landscape's oft-neglected corners through an instant camera

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Photographer Maye-E Wong was part of an Associated Press team that drove the backroads during the run-up to the 2020 election. She illustrated stories about currents of racial tension that still ripple through towns that once expelled Black people, about how claims of a gentler political culture in Utah turned out to be far more complicated than the folklore, about people in coal country who were isolated from COVID-19 and race issues and so much more. Above, people spin around in an amusement ride at the annual Mississippi State Fair. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Youths play basketball at an outdoor court. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Tasha Lamm, 30, kisses her girlfriend Alicia Mullins, 22, in Bidwell, Ohio. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Trump supporters Roger Plott, 65; Bill Stevens, 76; Rick Warren, 65, and Jim Rainbolt 57, stand outside The Gunsmoke Club Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in West Vienna, Ill. Their clubhouse is an old gas station which later turned into a convenience store and is now a gathering place for a dozen or so friends. It's part workshop, part bar, part informal store. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
But Wong, raised in Singapore, also brought along an Instax camera that made prints immediately, without the complications of her professional equipment. Fully in the moment, she used that camera to compile a visual diary — “a collective portrait of a dysfunctional family,” as she describes it. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
Children watch a pig race at the annual Mississippi State Fair. Image via AP/Wong Maye-E
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