Finding The Hidden South

Brent Walker a photographer, makes the assertion that the South is Hidden from the rest of the world. The Hidden South is a Kickstarter launched for the purpose of releasing a hardcover book collecting portraits and interview of people titled the “Hidden South.” So far, his photographs have been based out of Georgia, but with the money from Kickstarter Walker hopes to travel further, documenting other areas of the country beyond his current reach including ” bayous of Louisiana, the Mississippi Delta and the coal country of Kentucky and West Virginia.” Each one a unique landscape, and not necessarily one which is welcoming to people not from the area. The rest of the money will go towards publishing the book.

All the photographs are high quality, and Walker is a thinking man’s photographer. He seeks out people who look like they have stories to tell, and finds dynamic ways to frame his subjects and the environments they find themselves in, while asking important questions and allowing them to tell their stories. Snatches of the interviews are presented on his website. A warning, many are startling and some may find their contents disturbing. Brent

Walker says many times in “The Hidden South” Kickstarter and on his website that he wants to change the way that the marginalized are perceived in society, that addiction and poverty are not simply choices which can be decided against.

There is a tendency in American culture to flatten the environment we live in, and act like their aren’t deep wells of pain all across the landscape. The Hidden South seems like it will not only bypass that conversation, but offer a new lens to look at this country and the people living in it. The photo at the beginning of this piece is a portrait of Jennifer, a woman whose story is linked here. (Again, a trigger warning for disturbing content.)

The Kickstarter only has 15 days remaining, and has almost reached a third of the goal. The rewards for the kickstarter include the book at a $55 donation. This Kicker needs help and support to reach it’s goal in time. Someone has to tell this story.