Looking For America
Our search for the America that is unexplored by conventional media, hidden in the lives of extraordinarily diverse people who make up a nation that is constantly remaking and renewing itself. Over the next year, we will look for these pockets of changes and rebirths, and reveal them through the lenses of the world's best photographers.

David Alan Harvey and Antoine D’Agata are currently hurtling towards the oil boomtown Williston, North Dakota, in hot pursuit of one of the most unique frontier stories in modern-day America: the changes that a small plains town sees when oil money comes to town. Their story will be first component of a major chapter in Magnum’s Looking For America saga, one that will focus on changing times in the storied expanses of America’s Great Plains.


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Ethan Rooney, 21, is known in Williston N Dakota as the “smile” guy. Ethan , describes himself as a menial laborer in the oil fields. He has been walking up and down the streets of town trying to give out good vibes to folks commuting to and from work. Like many young people, he came to Williston from Minnesota just trying to save up some money and most likely move on. He has toyed with the idea of heading to New York seeking a modeling career…. -dah-.
Ethan lives illegally in the basement of a local business . Places to live in Williston are hard to come by. Four other men are jammed in the same disheveled quarters. Yes, Ethan sleeps in his clothes, and yes he supports Ron Paul.
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These young Native Americans are being evicted from their land in N Dakota right in the middle of an oil boom all around them. Their traditional grasslands turned into oil lands. (Taken with instagram)
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Native Americans Rebecca and Damion Deschamps who have live in Prairie Winds RV camp for 8 years are  being evicted. An abrupt note was posted on their door one day.
They have raised 4 sons here. The Three Tribe Affiliated reservation leadership  will try to find them another lot outside of New Town, but they do not want to move. Rebecca says “Maybe this place is not the best, and it gets muddy when it rains, but it’s home. We do not want to leave home.” 
Damion does repair work at the Four Bears Casino,  the largest source of income for the tribe, and stresses that he works hard for his family and sees providing for the next generation his responsibility. “My duty is to provide for my family. This eviction is disturbing for my kids. Our job is always to take care of the next generation. I am worried.”
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Kristin Grady, single mom of two, who will be evicted from Prairie Winds Camp in a few months..Her mother Margaret was the first to go. The residents here are watching many get wealthy from the oil boom and are feeling neglected. The deep anger from many Native Americans of course runs deep. Historically pushed onto reservations and then pushed again. 
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We went to take pictures of Native Americans who are being thrown off their land by big oil companies who want that land for a train line. Not a new  story. You will see those pictures coming. But first we got our picture taken with an ipad by Kristin Grady who invited us into the home she is about to lose. You will see our pictures of her later. She is a single mom with two kids to raise. Thank you for your hospitality Kristin.

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This old schoolhouse became a dance hall at one point but has been abandoned for about 50 years. Steve Erickson’s son will never know a life without lots of money. Nor a life without heavy trucking and oil wells now dotting the once farming only community. Grasslands are oil lands. There is a sea of oil right here larger than Saudi fields. No unemployment here now for the forseeable future. Locals are happy to make the hard cash and feel this will make the U.S. indepedent of foreign oil.
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