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Update: “Looking At Appalachia” Photo Project

December 4, 2014. Elbert County, Georgia. Photo by Amanda Greene.

December 4, 2014. Elbert County, Georgia. Photo by Amanda Greene.

Last year, we wrote about Roger May’s crowdsourced-photo-project-in-progress as he was seeking submissions. The photographer, blogger, and CDS Certificate in Documentary Arts student was looking to craft a more nuanced view of modern Appalachia fifty years after President Lyndon Johnson made the area a primary target in his War on Poverty, resulting in an era of photographs depicting a one-note, desolate, poverty-torn region. It’s an understatement to say that Looking at Appalachia has been a success.

September 8, 2014. Three Top Mountain, Ashe County, North Carolina. Photo by Tommy Nease.

September 8, 2014. Three Top Mountain, Ashe County, North Carolina. Photo by Tommy Nease.

The ongoing crowdsourced project includes a burgeoning website, Instagram feed, and several exhibitions planned through 2016—a growing image archive of Appalachia “defined by its people as opposed to political legislation,” May says. Often, the project’s Instagram feed features Appalachian-based photographers as guest contributors and curators. Beginning June 18, 2015Pang Tubhirun will run the account, sharing images from West Virginia.

February 15, 2015. Winter at West Liberty University, Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Photo by Eileen Thompson.

February 15, 2015. Winter at West Liberty University, Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia. Photo by Eileen Thompson.

“Looking at Appalachia” has been featured in the New York Times’ Lens photo blog, The Bitter Southerner, and WUNC public radio’s The State of Thingsamong other media outlets. Roger that.

 

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