18 July 2008
"Passionate photographs without sentimentality. Frazier is able to push background into foreground (strong winds?). Yes—his work reaches out: let me tell your story, it is important."
From foreword by Robert Frank to Driftless by Danny Wilcox Frazier.
In Iowa, where I have photographed extensively, youth flight is devastating rural life. Only Florida and Pennsylvania have a higher proportion of their populations over 65. That, coupled with Iowa’s ranking as second nationally for states losing young, well-educated adults, creates a climate of financial doom.
Nearly half of Iowa’s 99 counties lost population during the 1990s. Most disturbing for the state’s economy, the number of working-age Iowans is expected to fall by 23,000 between 2010 and 2020, while the number of those over 65 will grow by 142,000.
Primarily, it is the lack of economic opportunities that drives the Midwest’s out-migration. Another factor, though, is consolidation of services. In remote rural communities, the lack of access to doctors, schools and stores often determines population shifts to suburbs of cities like Des Moines, Omaha, and Sioux Falls.
This is compounded by strategies implemented by large-scale providers looking to maximize profits, who deem communities with low population density as not viable business options.
Text and photos © Danny Wilcox Frazier
Have a look at his portofolio at Reduxpixtures
invited by ulf fågelhammar
See also first part of this invitation.