The Looking at Appalachia project has selected photos of Greenbrier County to lead off its representation of West Virginia as part of its reflections on the 50th anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of the War on Poverty. The project is “…an attempt to explore the diversity of Appalachia and establish a visual counter point…” to the imagery created by the original photo survey and encompasses the counties included in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s service mandate. Its goal is to develop an “…archive [that] will serve as a reference that is defined by its people as opposed to political legislation.”
The photos featured are by Mark Trent, a Greenbrier Valley native, and include local gathering spots, businesses and personalities. The photos and those by other Appalachian artists can be seen on the website http://lookingatappalachia.org/. The project was conceived by Roger May, an Appalachian American photographer currently living in Raleigh, NC. He was born in the Tug River Valley, located on the West Virginia and Kentucky state line, in the heart of what is commonly known as Hatfield and McCoy Country. May’s photographs and essays have been published in The Oxford American, The Guardian, THE WEEK, The Bitter Southerner, The American Guide, Appalachian Heritage and AARP. Photo-artists and photo journalists interested in participating should submit material to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Trent grew up in Organ Cave attended New River Community and Technical College in Lewisburg before finishing his fine arts degree at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA. He works in both photography and film focusing primarily on documentary subjects. Trent’s expertise extends to a variety of outlets including commercial and music video production which has taken him across three separate continents working from his current base in New York City. To see more of his work or to contact Trent concerning subject material, visit his website at http://markerictrent.com.