“’American Fraternity’ is a photo book that exposes one of the primary sources of America’s misogynistic culture: the college fraternity….Most modern U.S. presidents, senators, justices and executives have taken arcane oaths of allegiance like the ones it contains. It is filled with dark power.” – Andrew Moisey
For seven years, Andrew Moisey had an all-access pass to photograph Greek life inside a prominent national fraternity house where his brother was a member. One day, Moisey stumbled upon a wax-stained, sixty-year-old ritual manual abandoned on the floor. He scanned its pages and then digitally inserted his contemporary pictures—of frat boys vommiting, binge drinking, wrestling and engaging in rituals—so that they appeared opposite the manual’s old images and high-minded codes of conduct.
The results are published in The American Fraternity, (Daylight Books, October 2018), a photo book that exposes the dark, centuries-old world of fraternities. “Moisey’s photographs contrast the high-minded constitution of the fraternity with its often underlying violent, misogynistic reality,” writes Daylight in a statement.
Moisey writes, “As you turn the pages…You will begin to understand why the college fraternity is not a passing phase, but the historical fountain of leadership for a hubristic, chauvinistic, male pleasure fortress—the modern United States.”
Many of the young men depicted in The American Fraternity are the future leaders of American institutions. At the end of the book, Moisey lists prominent Americans in both the public and private sector who are or were in college fraternities. “All these guys, including the ones that I list—this is where they learned to become men,” Moisey tells PDN writer Rebecca Robertson (in PDN‘s November issue). He hopes viewers “realize just how influential this culture is, and that it’s time for it to end.”
To read more about Moisey’s project, including how he funded the work, gained access to the fraternity and edited the book, see our story “Greek Tragedy” from the November issue of PDN.