Matt Eich - Carry Me Ohio: The Cycle of Poverty in Appalachia (2006-8)
"Pushed to the fringes of American society are communities in Appalachia marginalized by poverty, which have forged their culture and lifestyle since the early 1900s.
The Appalachian region was once defined by extractive industries such as coal, salt, clay and timber. However, by the 1970s, most of these industries had closed down or moved on, leaving regions such as rural southeastern Ohio stripped of the natural resources that once provided employment and a way of life for residents. Those who remain often drive more than an hour to work, with many supplementing their income however they can, through legitimate or illegitimate means. Historically, corporations with little vested interest in the long-term prosperity of the region have exploited both the environment and the people of Appalachia.”
1. A fallen mile marker, one mile from Chauncey, Ohio on September 8, 2006
2. Ritchie Goins Jr. watches from the window of his parents’ trailer as cinderblocks are brought in as the foundation for his grandmother’s new trailer. Leetha Goins and her children Timmy, 25, Troy, 16, and grandson Will, for whom she cares, were displaced when a drunk driver swerved off the road and crashed into their trailer.
3. A family of identical white cats occupy Dave Bircher’s barn in Guysville.
4. Sucker Punch
5. Dave Bircher, 71, has farmed the rolling hills of Southeast Ohio for more than thirty years. “Honestly, we’re farming because we love to farm. We’re not farming because we’re making any money.”
6. Richie Goins, Jr. opens the door of the trailer in search of the family’s puppies while his uncle Timmy, 25, sleeps on the couch. Timmy has cerebral palsy and mental handicaps and requires around the clock care.
7. Boys tussle during a backyard sports gathering
8. Troy Goins, 16, sucks his toe to console himself as he sits on his new bed in his grandmother’s trailer. His autism makes it difficult for him to deal with even the smallest changes, and self-stimulation or “stimming” is his way of coping.
9. The wind blows an empty field in Glouster, Ohio, on Saturday, May 17, 2008
10. Johnny Evans displays a neck tattoo he received while in prison as he sits in his sister’s boyfriend’s trailer in Chauncey, Ohio