This is not an anniversary | Blacksburg, VA A couple years ago I spent this month packing up the house my father had lived in before he passed. I forget sometimes how we hold grief in our body, and how it surfaces as and when it wants, especially when we are the most distracted from why. I made this image along with some others as a way of collecting while in the midst of so much discarding. My father always said that as siblings we were “each-other’s best friends”. So here is one of my best friends, lit by the light of the fading day in the teenage bedroom of my other best friend, after he’d swung around in circles singing his own rendition of ‘fat guy in a little coat’. Life is so wild.
Somewhere in TX | Flying Altitude Defying all odds on the way back from the desert with zero existential crises while watching the tiny world go by.
Maryland | Golden hour Never shrink yourself for the comfort of people who don’t know how to love the entirety of you.
Tucson, AZ | Signals Everything feels closer in the desert; the sky, the light, the wind, the clouds. I’ve heard that the mountains of the east coast feel claustrophobic to people who grew up in places like this. Yesterday, looking out beneath the weight of dark monsoon weighted storms, the expanse of the horizon seemed to hold it all up. There was room for everything, and all of us. The story of the border gets hammered into hard lines that don’t match anything of the way the earth moves here.
Monsoon season | Somewhere on Route 10, between Phoenix & Ajo, AZ (2015) Tomorrow, I’ll be returning to the desert to document the recent crackdown on humanitarian aid in Southern AZ & it’s connection to the larger discussion of border policy. In the past year, a number of aid workers have been charged/fined for continuing work that has been done in this region for decades. Will be sharing more from the road (& staying further away from the middle of lightning storms (maybe)).
Yesterday, Emily Satterwhite, a VT professor of Appalachian Studies locked herself to Mountain Valley Pipeline equipment along the easement on Brush Mountain, in Montgomery County, VA. She remained in place for over 14 hrs. while local, state, and federal police arrived with MVP private security, workers, USFS law enforcement. Community members were present throughout the day, to bear witness and document Emily’s demands which included that Virginia Department of Environmental Policy submit the 20 violations that have been documented/recorded to the state water control board. Officials were unwilling to comply, with only one local elected official and friend of Satterwhite paying a visit to attempt negotiation. After a long day, crews used cherry pickers to extract Satterwhite, charging her with misdemeanor trespassing before she was released. Today, DEQ announced suspension of construction of the pipeline, citing sedimentation and erosion violations. Emily spoke to media crews and officers throughout the day, and sent a particular message to Federal district judge Dillon saying: “Judge Dillon, this is not a game! This is our water, this is our health, and our life.”
Little Teel Crossing | Rocky Mount, VA For the past several months I’ve been documenting pipeline resistance in Southwestern, VA; the place I grew up. This image was made several weeks ago as community members gathered to bear witness and protect a tree-sitter who had ascended earlier in the day after legal steps had been taken against ‘Ink’, another sitter who had successfully thwarted tree felling for a number of weeks. Ink sustained serious injury when MVP crews tried to cut despite their presence in a nearby tree. On the day pictured, a Marshall appeared ordering ‘Sprout’ into court in a matter of hours. I’ve started a funding page to support the continued work of this film as the story unfolds and as the pipeline is dug into the mountains. If you are willing or able please do share this effort and help this story reach others who are faced with obstacles that seem insurmountable. The fight continues. Link in bio.
I heard a man describe himself as a second generation fast-food worker yesterday while addressing the crowd at the @poorpeoplescampaign rally. He spoke of how his mother had given her body to the hard work that the industry demanded of her, while simply trying to provide for her children. The heart of this campaign beats from the voices of people who are giving of their time and energy to lead and educate the rest of us. If your morality harbors contempt for anyone who is living with the exhaustive reality of poverty, homelessness, job insecurity, or lack of education; there is always a choice to lay it down.
William | Washington DC Today I was lucky enough to spend time with this wonderful human, on the occasion of his first book release. I’ve had the joy of being alongside to see this process from inception to completion & to be able to see his craft grow stronger with each challenge that a task of this magnitude takes. Whatever people tell you about the company you keep, they’re talking about friends like him. I’m so excited to see the dreams he and his co-author @babywasu have shared with us through this writing. And you know I have to plug- so check out “As Black As Resistance; Finding the Conditions for Liberation” via @akpressdistro & go say hi while they make some stops in DC, Baltimore, Philly & NYC this week. Congratulations, and thank you dreaming vividly enough to speak this brave future into being.