For Obituaries of The American Dream, the American Dream is defined as the ideal that all individuals can achieve upward mobility based on their hard work. As stated by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book The Epic America, “all [individuals] should have access to this opportunity according to ability or achievement.” This ideal has proliferated globally and is rooted in the aspiration of individual wealth instead of community well being. Furthermore, it negates the legacy of enslavement, structural racism, and patriarchy that are foundational to the United States as a nation. Obituaries of The American Dream invites participants locally and globally, non-im/migrants and im/migrants to share when and how the American Dream died for them. These obituaries will be published daily on this site and in a publicly distributed newspaper in New York City next year.

The hope of this project is not only to grieve an ideal but to reimagine the role of work, interdependency for community wellbeing, and government welfare in the creation of a new ideal.

This project is by artist Lizania Cruz and commissioned by El Museo del Barrio for ESTAMOS BIEN: LA TRIENAL 20/21 curated by Rodrigo Moura, Susanna Temkin, and Elia Alba.

For more information about the project email

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