This work and series of photographs is an exploration of my relationship to my family and community. The subjects of my pictures are my immediate family members, friends and neighbors from the working-class neighborhood in New Jersey where I grew up.

There is a population in America that is forgotten about. They aren’t “free” in the way that countless Americans are. Many people take it for granted that they can “pick themselves up by their bootstraps” and better themselves; for this group of Americans, however, that just isn’t true. Many struggle to be seen, to make ends meet, to feel worthy of the comforts that others can easily (even thoughtlessly) afford.

Some of my images are documents—moments that unfolded before the camera. Others are created from memory or are reinvented fictions that strive for a different truth—one that is in conversation with the history of painting and photography. But all deal with the struggles of the working class, the cycle of addiction, deficits in education and an undercurrent of bigotry that defines the America in which I was raised.

—Danna Singer

If you’d like to see more work like this, we’d recommend these articles: The Hereditary Estate, a striking series that considers the role of the photo album in defining “the American Dream”; Fault Line, a project about a divided family shot on the rocky, windy coast of Maine; and Zukunft, a collection of images by a German photographer who delved deep into her country’s complicated, wartime past.