Editor’s Note: Roger May is an Appalachian photographer and director of Looking at Appalachia, a crowd-sourced photo series. Below is a selection of images from the series meant to show the diversity of the project’s submissions, with a foreword by May.
The Looking at Appalachia project was launched in February 2014 as a way to mark the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the War on Poverty and establish a visual counterpoint to the pictures produced in that era. One of the most incredible results of the project has been the community and network of photographers we’ve established since its creation. We’ve been able to share some of Appalachia’s diversity: geographically, socioeconomically, and culturally while complicating the longstanding narrative of Appalachia’s homogeneity.
Nearly 600 photographs from more than 100 photographers are now part of the collection. What’s remarkable about these numbers are the diversity in the photographers whose work we’ve shared. From a college student from North Carolina interning for the New York Times to a retired coal miner in eastern Kentucky, the work we share represents all walks of life, skill, and ability. In the end, it is a connection to place and a willingness to share stories that bring the work together.
We hope you’ll spend some time online with the project and encourage you to submit your own work to be part of Looking at Appalachia.
Director, Looking at Appalachia
Explore the photos in the gallery by selecting the thumbnail to enlarge.
Explore the photos for each state by clicking on the blue markers on the map, or click the state name listed below and “View Photos.”