Since the late 19th century the Appalachian region was devastated by the coal industry that took valuable resources from the land, leaving the people who lived there impoverished. In the 1960’s a War on Poverty was declared. The government decided it would put an end to poverty in America. They chose Appalachia as the poster child for the war. Photographers descended on Appalachia to make images that would help unite Americans around the effort to improve the lives of a destitute and struggling people. Instead, the photographers offered a simplistic and superficial image of poverty that has haunted the Appalachian people ever since. While making this work, it became clear that I was part of a legacy of photographers utilizing a medium that empowered a problem. How can the photographer represent a region where the medium has failed the people?
Publication: As It Was Give(n) to Me, Twin Palms, 2019.