Monday, November 21, 2011

Coal Mining in Appalachia

I am working on a documentary on Coal Mining in McDowell County West Virginia, deep in the heart of Appalachia. McDowell County is one of the poorest and most remote counties in the United States. In fact Welch, the county seat had at one time the highest concentration of millionaires in the United States. Thousands of immigrants came from all over the world to work in the coal fields, think the movie Matewan. Now Welch is scarcely a shadow of it's former self. Still today more coal is taken out of this area than any time in it's history, but with mechanization and non union mining this area has become destitute. Not to mention that many of these companies have treated the people there with ethical disdain and criminal neglect for a long time.

Black lung, heart disease, diabetes, and drug abuse are but a few of the problems that have come with poverty here. Black lung disease is on the rise among all the miners after some years of status quo. Many of formerly rich towns in the area are now little more than ghost towns and still the only jobs that pay more than minimum wage are the most dangerous jobs in the world, coal mining. Very few people here have health care and access to clinics.

The following images are from the past 3 years. In the context of the national economy that we are all suffering from, I want you to remember that some of our fellow countryman have had it a lot worse for a long time and they should not be forgotten, in fact they need to be celebrated as hero's, they are reason the lights are still on. However that is not to celebrate coal, we need to find alternatives and quickly, but as in all decisions involving policy you cannot forget that peoples lives are deeply affected.

And then their is Mountaintop Mining, but that is another story...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Disabled Football

I'm continuing to shoot a story on the disabled football team formed last August composed mostly of earthquake survivors who lost their limbs. These guys are really amazing, an incredible example of survival and perseverance.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch in Haiti.

Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch and Bobby Duval a former prisoner of The Duvalier Regime at the famous former prison Fort Dimanche in Port Au Prince Haiti. Fort Dimanche was a place where most people went in and almost nobody came out again, political prisoners were tortured and killed by the thousands during the Duvalier era. Duvalier returned to Haiti last month. Bobby Duval spent over a year in this prison and is lucky to be alive today to tell his story.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bloody aftermath of shooting in Port Au Prince.

In broad daylight a kiskeya radio journalist was shot to death on the street near the plaza hotel. His name was Jean Richard Louis Charles. No one knows why, Robbery, or....What a waste.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Waiting for Aristide: Back in Haiti again.

Jean Bertrand Aristide, wrongfully taken from Haiti in 2004(in my opinion)by the United States and forced into exile in South Africa may return to Haiti in the next few days or weeks. If Duvalier can return, why not Aristide?

Photograph from Titanyen, 2/8/2011. A place made famous for the dumping the bodies of executed political opponents, now the site of the mass grave containing the bodies of tens of thousands of earthquake victims.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Please look at my Vodou work at:

New York University Religion and jouralism studies. The Revealer is a daily review of religion in the news and the news about religion. We’re not so much nonpartisan as polypartisan — interested in all sides, disdainful of dualistic arguments, and enamored of free speech as a first principle. We publish and link to work by people of all persuasions, religious, political, sexual, and critical.