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Tag Archives: Kentucky

Photos: Life in Appalachia – Mario Tama

These images by Mario Tama, on the excellent Denver Post pblog site, follow in the traditions of a number of photographers who point their cameras back at America and show us what is rarely seen, poverty (think of Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange) . What brings these images together is the continuity that  “Familial and community bonds run deep, with a populace that shares a collective historical and cultural legacy uncommon in most parts of the country

Daniel Boone once camped in the Appalachian mountain hamlet of Owsley County which remains mostly populated by descendants of settlers to this day. The 2010 U.S. Census listed Owsley County as having the lowest median household income in the country outside of Puerto Rico, with 41.5% of residents living below the poverty line. Familial and community bonds run deep, with a populace that shares a collective historical and cultural legacy uncommon in most parts of the country. However, the community of around 5,000 struggles with a lack of jobs due to the decline in coal, tobacco and lumber industries along with health issues including drug addiction without effective treatment.”

Getty Photographer Mario Tama spent time in Owsley County documenting the community. These are great images, do look at the full set here

Here is a link to the excellent Tama’s website

Mose Noble’s nephew Johnny Noble, 9, sits in Mose’s trailer during a visit on April 21, 2012 in Owsley County, Kentucky. Johnny visits his uncle from time to time. Mose Noble is a former chimney sweeper who no longer works but volunteers cleaning graveyards. His trailer has no electricity or running water but he receives governmental and neighborly assistance. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former chimney sweeper Mose Noble’s kitchen is seen in Owsley County on April 21, 2012 in Booneville, Kentucky. Noble is no longer employed but does volunteer cleaning graveyards from time to time. His trailer has no electricity or running water but he receives governmental and neighborly assistance. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Drucilla Smith (C) prepares for the Owsley County High School prom in her home with sister Linda Hall on April 21, 2012 in Booneville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A man reads a newspaper in a restaurant on April 22, 2012 in Booneville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)