Artist and social commentator Grayson Perry travels across the pre-pandemic US, spending time with people from all walks of life to explore the divisions across the nation – issues that have since been thrown into sharper focus.
Ch1. The South
He begins in the American South, where he tackles race – arguably the oldest and most intractable division in the US. Travelling from Atlanta, Georgia, to Washington, DC, he explores older ideas of African American success with members of the so-called ‘black elite’ and reflects on the issue of white privilege.
Ch2. The East Coast
Grayson Perry continues his journey across the pre-pandemic US to explore divisions across the nation. In the second episode, Grayson takes a bike trip down the relatively prosperous East Coast of the US, from the liberal holiday playground of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to a ‘woke” enclave of Brooklyn, he explores issues of social class, economic opportunity and access to education, and tries to understand how America’s liberals now view their own country.
Grayson travels through the swing state of Wisconsin in the American Midwest – a predominantly white and predominantly rural location, and one of the states that gave President Trump his victory in 2016. He finds a state that is increasingly bitterly divided over identity politics and hot-button cultural issues like abortion and vaccination. Why are these `culture wars” happening, asks Grayson, and what might help to overcome the divisions? To conclude the series, Grayson makes a map of the American culture wars, one which has strong implications for our own cultural and political divisions in the UK.