51 Pics Of Polish People Roleplaying As Americans Celebrating The 4th Of July Interview
American pop culture is so widespread that it would almost be impossible to find an inhabited patch of land not affected by it. Coming from movies, books, the internet, and other mediums, the idea of the "American Dream" is most likely familiar to lots of people around the world, affecting the way one sees Americans and their lifestyle.
How people from other countries actually view Americans is revealed by one group in Poland called 4th of July LARP (live-action role-playing). It is a slice-of-life project where people roleplay as contemporary Americans acting out various scenarios that they imagine happening in the United States during their Independence Day.
As the group describes on their Facebook page, the 4th of July LARP is a drama about squandering the American dream. "On July 4, 1776, the United States declared independence. The newcomers from the Old Continent wanted to create a new state in America, built on democracy, freedom and equality. More than two hundred years later, many Americans live under conditions different from what the nation's founding fathers imagined. Barely making ends meet, striving to be family members and worthy Americans despite poverty and exclusion. Although they live on the fringes of society, their home - a small town lined with caravans and shaky houses - is for them the essence of the 'land of the free and the home of the brave'. This is a story about them."
More info: Facebook
The 4th of July LARP group has been organizing LARPs for years now and is constantly looking for interesting and important topics. "Many great blockbuster LARPs are in fantasy or sci-fi settings - this time we wanted to make a game in a contemporary environment with an illusion of actually being there. While scouting for locations, we found an inexpensive holiday resort full of mobile homes - a site you won’t often see in Poland. It reminded us of an American trailer park and we decided to make that the core theme of our game."
Even though they are Polish, they all grew up surrounded by American pop culture and are familiar with the idea of the "American Dream". "We’ve used the visual language and widely known archetypes to create a setting of a trailer park in the USA. From the very beginning, we aimed to be respectful toward people living in low-income neighborhoods and approach the topic with sensitivity and respect."
The organizers stressed that this project is not in any way a comedy or a pastiche, but a slice-of-life drama type of LARP. "We stayed away from comedy (like Trailer Park Boys) or supernatural elements (like Stranger Things), taking inspiration from documentaries, books, and movies touching on this subject in a slightly different way (f.e. Hillbilly Elegy, Nomadland, etc.)."
"Our LARP explores the mythos of the American Dream - or more so the Broken American Dream. Players experience human stories, portraying characters with unique backgrounds. They face their daily life and the issues that come with it. Some are universal or similar to the ones in Poland (such as struggling to provide for your family or combating addiction), and some are specific to the U.S. (such as reliance on private health care or the prevalence of firearms). We wanted to create an immersive experience about facing those hardships both as an individual and as a community, about making impossible choices, about finding your place in your small homeland."