Fear & Loathing in America strives to investigate the rise of disinformation and conspiratorial thinking within the United States post-2016. Since the presidential elections in 2016, there has been a marked increase in conspiratorial thought amongst both the right and the left. The core focus of this photographic archive seeks to investigate the rise of and the ramifications of conspiratorial thought upon modern-day democracies. During my investigations into both democratic and republican-based conspiracies, a frightening picture began emerging. One which involves an insidious congregation on the far reaches of the internet. Subtly, this group has been using the internet to manipulate Americans’ penchant for distrust and predisposition towards conspiratorial thought. The group behind all of this? QAnon. According to a Pew Research Poll conducted in May 2020, only 25% of Americans were aware of this group. In the relative darkness of anonymity, this motley crew have conducted a whole host of vicious attacks. From hostage situations to the infamous shooting at Comet Ping Pong, QAnon has been the driving force behind a substantial amount of recent political violence. So much so, that the FBI has released documents labelling the group as a domestic terror organisation. With the help of the FBI’s Archives and sourced imagery from Google, I investigate these acts of domestic terror and the settings which led to these unspeakable acts. As a European-American, ‘Fear & Loathing in America’ is my attempt to reconcile with the death of the American Dream. In connecting these points and seeking to understand the nature of disinformation, I ultimately wonder how we got to this point and when things all went wrong.
Created for The University of Westminster's Documentary Photography & Photojournalism MA programme.
Incident #001 - Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in Washington D.C.
Incident #001 - "I came for pizza and he came for something else entirely."
Incident #002 - Hostage situation somewhere on the border of Arizona and Nevada.
Incident #002 - "I don't even know what it means to be 'American' anymore."