The piece solicited a strong online debate, with some commenters objecting that the photographs perpetuated a derogatory stereotype and narrow view of the region, and others defending the artistic merits of the work. The late 19th century and early 20th century saw the re-discovery of culture and resources in the Appalachian Mountains by the rest of the country. Northern missionaries and educators flooded into Appalachia, determined to preserve and enhance the lifestyle of the hard-working, hand-hewn and independent mountain people who still spoke in Elizabethan tongue.
These contrasting examples point more to class distinctions than to any absolute difference between Appalachia and large urban centers, for globalization and neoliberalism generate similarities and linkages between these two spaces.
Many of these commonalities, however, tend to be obscured by racial and spatial difference. Abandonment of specific racialized zones of central cities by capital and the state except in its coercive apparatus of law enforcement finds parallels across vast portions of rural Appalachia, where deindustrialization and disinvestment are no less severe.
There are related, even more direct, linkages: Urban sprawl"grow or die" philosophies of economic development, consumerist excess, and the disappearance of small farms—these and other expansionary and destructive elements of global capitalism are at stake in the environmental crisis.
Within Appalachia, mountaintop removal coal mining MTR is the most egregious, visible, and heartbreaking example.
The controversy over MTR is in one sense a classic instance of "jobs versus environment. The struggle over MTR is intensely emotional not only because the stakes are so high but also because these competing claims to place collide within the same social groups.
For those who view place as the material and metaphorical homeplace of mountains, practices that systematically level mountain peaks are destroying not only the physical environment but the very soul of the place itself.
They call on a past of intergenerational continuity on the land to condemn the destruction of MTR and, at times in collaboration with youthful activists in the anarcho-environmental network, Mountain Justiceenvision a future of " green jobs " and clean energy production through, for example, wind farms.
But for those who view place through a different past, the intergenerational legacies of coal mining, a "green" future beyond coal is both unimaginable and undesirable and entails destruction of the very place they claim as home. The result is a battle over place that resembles civil war.
RAIL Solution fought I privatization and advocates a " steel interstate system " alongside the road. These bitter struggles illustrate that the meaning of place, while contested, is subject to diverse forms of political intervention.
For example, one chapter documents successful efforts to combat privatization of I in Virginia by inventing a common sense of place—and collective claim to the interstate as a public asset—among residents of small towns scattered along the interstate corridor. Two additional chapters explore the role of cultural organizing in fostering new forms of solidarity and visions of place among Appalachians in eastern Kentucky.
The propositions discussed above underscore that place is fundamental to the operation of power, the production of inequality, and the mobilization of resistance. In so doing, they also reveal that there is nothing fixed or inevitable about the current production of Appalachia as a place of intensive human and environmental exploitation.
Another place is possible if we have the imagination to envision it and the collective political will to create it.
Adapted from Transforming Places: Copyright by the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Used with permission of the University of Illinois Press. This material may not be reproduced, photocopied, reposted online or distributed in any way without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Simon, "Regions and Social Relations: The Appalachian Case Boone, N. Appalachian Consortium Press, ; Dwight B.
In this essay, excerpted from Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia (University of Illinois Press, ), Barbara Ellen Smith and Stephen L. Fisher make a case for how spatial theories of power, capital, and inequality can inform our understanding of Appalachia and offer avenues for progressive change. May 07, · Photographer Stacy Kranitz is drawn to people outside mainstream American culture. Last summer she traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee for three months exploring the towns and the everyday lives of the people of Appalachia. She hoped to demystify the stereotypes she came across. A Photo Essay on the Great Depression. Read a Belorussian translation of this page by Uta Bayer. Read a Danish translation by Excellent Worlds. The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange just after the crash of On Black Tuesday, October twenty-ninth, the market collapsed. In a single day, sixteen million shares were traded--a .
Essays in Honor of Ronald L. West Virginia University Press,1— Traditions of Resistance and Change Philadelphia:May 07, · Photographer Stacy Kranitz is drawn to people outside mainstream American culture.
Last summer she traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee for three months exploring the towns and the everyday lives of the people of Appalachia. She hoped to demystify the stereotypes she came across.
In some ways, Bruce Gilden’s recent photo essay for Vice, published under the headline “Two Days in Appalachia,” is a perfect bit of clickbait.
It appeared in their Photography Issue and on benjaminpohle.com, and expectations were met or exceeded at every step. Bruce Gilden did what Bruce Gilden.
FEATURED ESSAY African Americans in Appalachia Dr. Althea Webb. Assistant Professor of Education. Berea College. Contrary to popular perception, Appalachia has always possessed significant and influential populations of color. May 07, · Photographer Stacy Kranitz is drawn to people outside mainstream American culture.
Last summer she traveled through West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee for three months exploring the towns and the everyday lives of the people of Appalachia. She hoped to demystify the stereotypes she came across. According to the U.S. Census, the Appalachian county has the lowest median household income in the states - a staggering .
Photo Essay, February Jonathan Creek near Maggie Valley, North Carolina ×.