We met Justin Kaneps back in June during the Flash Forward Festival in Boston MA. His work focuses on the remnants of coal mining towns throughout Appalachia. Recently he was awarded a two week residency at King College in Bristol TN.
Below is a selection of images from an ongoing project called “In Our Veins.”
The interdependency between the American coal industry and its surrounding communities is deep and complex. While embracing the realities and myths surrounding coal production I reveal the socioeconomic impact on Appalachian communities that mine it. Pointing out the realities of a rural environment in constant transition, my work explores coal as a problematic, but longstanding, staple in Appalachian culture and economy.
Despite an awareness of the impact of coal, most know little about the lives of those who produce it and live with its effects. With profound compassion and respect I offer some insight into their world. I explore the evidence of an American ideological past and the nostalgia that exists within the way of life and traditions encompassing coal. An underlying connection exists to my subjects through the air we breathe and the resources we take from the land.
View more of Justin Kanep’s work on his website