From rags to riches. This is the promise that has become the mindset of the immigration country par excellence, the United States. But especially in times of crisis, the holes in the narrative of social advancement reveal themselves. When the Corona virus hit the US, it was once again the socially vulnerable who suffered the consequences of the crisis. Millions of people lost their jobs, and the economic depression could hardly be stopped. Most of those who succumbed to the virus came for the most part from structurally disadvantaged African American communities. Talk of the »greatest country in the history of man« was exposed as a myth during the crisis.
The deconstruction of the American Dream is at the centre of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE GRAPES OF WRATH. John Steinbeck tells in it the story of the Joad farming family from Oklahoma who, after years of drought, gives up their old life and sets out on a journey along Route 66. Their destination: California. But the Californian Dream recedes continuously further into the distance as the migrants only encounter swindlers, exploitation, and exclusion in the West. This is the story of the hour, revealing the connections between the economic crisis, the migration movement and climate change.