Friday, June 24, 2011

The South on Facing Change/Documenting America

We've just learned about a new website called Facing Change/Documenting America which describes itself as the work of a "non-profit collective of dedicated photojournalists and writers coming together to explore America and to build a forum to chart its future."

The photographers include David Burnett, Alan Chin, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Stanley Greene, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Andrew Lichtenstein, Carlos Javier Ortiz, Lucian Perkins, and  Anthony Suau.

Of this group, only Debbie Fleming Caffrie (as best as I can tell) is formally a Southerner -- and she has first-rate work on this site -- but a number of the other photographers have done projects in the South for Facing Change.

These include Lucian Perkin' series on Christmas in Central Texas, Alan Chin's soulful images in the Deep South series, Andrew Lichtenstein's Civil War Anniversary portfolio and his West Virginia portfolio The Battle for Blair Mountain, and of course Debbie Fleming Caffrie's portfolio Louisiana.

FCDA takes its inspiration from the Farm Security Administration's work during the Great Depression and intends to "cover and publish under-reported aspects of America’s most urgent issues and distribute the work through a innovative online platform while highlighting the efforts of individuals and organizations working to affect positive change." 

To do this, it will "embed photographer/writer teams in communities across America to vividly illustrate the nation’s most pressing concerns-from health care to immigration to the cost of the war on terror. The result will be an unparalleled collection of visual and textual narratives accessible through an innovative online platform-called the Public Sphere–enabling a direct dialogue with America on the stories and issues"

The writers involved with FC/DA are also first-class. They include Dan Baum, Katherine Boo, Alan Burdick, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Eliza Griswold, Margaret Knox, Alex Kotlowitz, Andrew Meier, and David Samuels.

There is strong work here, and we will try to keep up with work they publish that has a Southern focus. All the best, folks, in your ambitious undertaking.

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