Good Night, #3
One of the recent pieces for my project, Appalachia, Route 23. I've been working on the project for a few years and recently picked up momentum by reading a lot of great source material. Here is some of the readings I've been looking at this week that helped inspire the prints and other aspects of the project.
I just finished reading the United States of Appalachia by Jeff Biggers and can't say enough about the book. Its introduced me to quite a few other literary pieces, written primarily by women. NPR did an interview a few years back on All things Considered with Jeff Biggers and Rudy Abramson that touches on some of the history throughout Appalachia. I recommend giving it a moment of your time. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5386355
Other reads, much more recent, have been on sites such as Buzzfeed. All while the story on there is sad, its also refreshingly surprising that the story was run. Whenever I visit the Buzzfeed website, I don't go to scan the intense reads, I go to give my brain a rest by taking silly quizzes and looking at internet memes. Big mistake on my part. The site is filled with not only comedic and snide approaches to serious issues, but has the occasional tone to bring attention to something much more earnest. Have a read of one man's fight with black lung and being misdiagnosed by a doctor working for the mining company. Story here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrishamby/how-a-coal-miners-autopsy-proved-a-top-doctor-wrong?utm_term=2mcdjt1#1q2is25
The internet is littered with stories about the people's of Appalachia. Most oftent these stories show the nature of how we treat one another in the name of a greed. Its a malicious cycle that has been happening for too long- especially in an America that claims to be so pious, so willing to help, and so quick to use its sharp tongue against oppression; we have a lot of mirrors we need to start fixing the cracks. The more I write, the more heated I get I suppose.
In closing, I'd like to share an excerpt from an article by Amy D. Clark in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times, on August, 2, 2013. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/03/opinion/appalachian-hope-and-heartbreak.html )
There is potential in our rural community and those nearby for landmarks to be renovated and reopened, and crumbling buildings replaced with gardens, spaces for farmers’ markets and theaters. If towns want to thrive again, they have to focus on preserving and promoting their signature attractions. Small businesses like the Mutual must be part of that plan to draw people back.
After all, no one ever takes a road trip to see a CVS or McDonald’s.
We must make an agreement to support our small businesses and make the hope of saving our towns a reality.
Its all a domino effect at the end of the day. When we start losing site of being kind to one another, darker motivations take over and the realm of humanity is transcended by something much more inhumane.
For more reads on the region, have a look at the links below. If you have any suggestions for me please send them my way.