News organizations [in 1964] descended on Appalachia to put a face to the War on Poverty. Appalachia was the poster child. Journalists focused on Central Appalachia, depicting it as an unseemly place to live. This image has haunted its people ever since. Those responsible for these media misrepresentations had the best of intentions, but ultimately these depictions contributed to unfair stereotypes of a rural group of people who already felt ostracized from the “Great Society.”
Representing place is a complicated series of negotiations. How can the photographer demystify stereotypes, represent culture, sum up experience, interpret memory and history? I create a fantasy world for myself. My perceptions and fantasies rival my desire to provide a realistic portrayal of where I am, especially because the idea of a “realistic portrayal” is a fantasy. My work is about the tension between these two desires.
Stacy Kranitz on her series As it Was Give(n) to Me, which mixes her photography with historical images and artifacts.