The images presented are part of an ongoing series that document the small town of Pottsville Pennsylvania. The once thriving town has been in economic decline for the last two decades having been solely reliant on coal mining as their main source of income. There is a huge economic disparity present within the town, causing revitalization efforts to turn a blind eye to these less fortunate parts of their community.
A storefront advertising DVD’s and displaying VHS tapes in its front window feels as though it’s been frozen in time, a relic of the town’s haydays. Simultaneously, the store is marketing flat screen TV’s and newer home video game consoles. Caught in between these two advertisements, two pictures depicting religious iconography. This strange juxtaposition of two different generations of technology and culture is a microcosm for what is going on within Pottsville. Two different forces pulling in two different directions.
In one image, the snow covered remains of a demolished house lay somber and sullen. A gaping hole reveals leafless trees and the bright sky. This house was condemned due to a fire. Many of the houses on its street provide shelter for lower income families. Meanwhile a newly erected, half a million dollar home stands tall on its dirt mound only 10 minutes away. The changes time inflicts on economic disparities is ever prevalent in every corner of American culture, even in a town that was struggling long before the current financial crisis.
Like much of the United States, religious and political radicalism run rampant. Economic disparity drives the dividing shifts within the community and that is reflected on the dilapidation that surrounds it. A once thriving coal town attempts to cling onto life and strike new prosperity.