Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Rock Creek, WV — Five students kicked off the first meeting under the auspices of the Rock Creek School of Photography, a field training workshop for photojournalism, as part of Appalachia Watch, a journalism advocacy project in the heart of West Virginia.
After a brief introduction and discussion of Magnum photographer David Hurn's philosophy of the classical photo essay, which can be broken down into a particular set of kinds of images,we set off for our first field shoot: the Marsh Fork Elementary School, site of one of the most unbelievable situations in the southern coalfields of Appalachia.
Directly next to the Marsh Fork Elementary School is Massey Energy's Goals Coal plant, which contains a coal processing plant, the Shumate dam and sludge pond containing 2.8 billion gallons of toxic coal waste, as well as the Edwight mountaintop removal site, where protesters have staged many many peaceful acts of civil disobedience.
Here's our class at work, to the right. Click for larger views. Look soon for everyone else's. We'll be working over dinner and watching the compelling documentary, the The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia.