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"Deep down, you know you want to do good things in life, and you sort of know when you're compromising too much."
"By using the suburban setting as the theme-and not the backdrop-I was able to explore the lives of ordinary Americans including family, friends and neighbors. These are not people on the margins of society, but rather, those who inhabit that vast, middle ground we call suburbia-and my pictures reveal that moment of drama inherent within the most ordinary situations. And by focusing on one community-my hometown-this project had become universal. Levittown is, in many ways, a microcosm of America, the dreams of the people in this famous prototype suburb are the dreams of all America."
As a photojournalist and documentary film producer, Joan Klatchko has traveled the world. In her photography, she focuses on small areas to reveal larger issues of worldwide significance.
Klatchko spent more than 20 years living and working abroad, from London to Hong Kong, Burma to Bangladesh, where her subjects included Indian sword fighters, Australian crocodile hunters, and Zulu warriors. Her work has been published in The Observer Sunday Magazine (UK), GEO (German and French editions), The Sunday Times (UK), the Independent on Sunday (UK), Marie Clare (UK), Good Weekend (Australia), Discovery, Audubon, and many other publications around the world.
After returning home from abroad, she became interested in rediscovering American through her suburban hometown, Levittown. She spent years documenting the planned community and "the great migration from city to suburb." Coinciding with the Michener Art Museum's exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famous suburb, Klatchko's photographs about the contemporary residents of the town explore the continued evolution of it.
Klatchko is also involved in a multicultural education program called Kids Across the World. "By using real photo-stories about real kids, students can better appreciate and understand cultural similarities-and differences," she says.
Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pennsylvania
Literacy Through Photography Program, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Connection to Bucks County
Klatchko, who was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Levittown, Pennsylvania, splits her time between Bucks County and the Jersey Shore, when she isn't traveling. She has taught numerous continuing education programs through the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and at the Michener Art Museum. She regularly shares her experiences with photographing the children of the world with local children. In an effort to enhance global understanding, she tries to spark children's natural curiosity through her presentations.
Photo Editor, Time and Business Week, Hong Kong
Professor, Literacy Through Photography, University of the Arts Continuing Inspiration Program, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2003
Children's Programs Teacher, Bucks County Community College, Newtown, Pennsylvania
Connecting Cultures: Kids Across the World, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2006
Levittown: A Home of Our Own, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2003
Print Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2002, 2003
State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2002
Pennsylvania Council of the Arts award in Visual Arts, 2003
Pennsylvania Council of the Arts award in Literature, 2002