Kathleen Robbins is the new featured photographer for One One Thousand, the increasingly intriguing Southern photography webzine from New Orleans. The work she is showing here is from her Into the Flat Land portfolio, documenting the landscape and the people of the Delta region of northern Mississippi.
Robbins, in my view, is doing a superb job in her work of documenting the character and experience of the Southern rural landscape. Her uncanny sense of composition, her thoughtful location of people in their context, and her attention to detail coalesce in these images to evoke the character of this place which someone once called the South of the South.
This is the land that white settlers tore from the wilderness and bought the slaves to grow the cotton on. It is blood-soaked and pain-riven land; it is the land whose past Faulkner said lives on into the present. And so it does. The Confederate battle flag still waves in the state flag of Mississippi and on the grounds of the state capitol of South Carolina.
And yet in Robbin's images the Southern rural landscape is largely empty. Southern history has moved on, to Memphis, and to Atlanta, and to Columbia, and to Charlotte. And so we live, in one or the other, or, better, in both, all at once.
Congratulations to Robbins for this recognition of her work. She is definitely a Southern Photographer We Watch Out For.