The In-Between Land
The string of communities that run along a sixty mile stretch of Southern Ohio’s State Route 93 are uniquely connected, in that they share a common bond of history along with their geographical proximity. They are separated in culture and economics from the Till Plains to the northwest and the more affluent river towns to the southeast. This land in-between once made its fortune in iron, timber, coal and salt that helped fuel the American Industrial Revolution. The land and history not only connect these communities to one another, they also separate them from the rest of the United States. In general, North Central Appalachia is seldom considered the depiction of American prosperity; however, the deep cultural history that helps to define this segment of the United States is often marked by an impassioned grit, determination and a pride for qualities such as independence and self-reliance. The quiet hills and fertile fields require a certain resourcefulness as well as an ability to withstand incessant economic hardship in order to survive. The In-Between Land is a photographic essay that attempts to document the people of Jackson, Vinton and Lawrence counties in Southern Ohio in a way that highlights important and often overlooked qualities, whilst not avoiding struggles and imperfections. It is an attempt to offer an opportunity for self-reflection for those who call these communities their home. It is also an attempt to offer insight about these people, their way of life and their world to outsiders.