building new castles every day

complexities

In Sightings, Thinkings on June 28, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Growing up, there was an overt presence of clear-cut landscapes. They’re such dramatic, violent things that you really can’t get around feeling angry about them. I kind of wanted to challenge my preconceived ideas.

In Sawdust Mountain, Eirik Johnson has captured the rainy yet vibrant coastal communities and industries of his home, the Pacific Northwest. Nicole Pasulka interviewed Johnson for The Morning News.

I highly recommend checking out their slideshow of some of his photographs. They really capture the rainy-hazy, lush contrasts of the Pacific Northwest.

What I like about this project is Johnson’s honest desire to show how complex the connection is between our natural industries and the communities which have developed because of them. We can yell and protest about all the environmental degradation that is happening because of irresponsible logging and salmon farming, but these employ real people and sustain real lives — and I mean sustain as in meeting needs; not making profits.

When so many Canadian communities are built on natural industries, works like Sawdust Mountain really make one think about the tricky transitions local governments must navigate with their constituents. Nothing is straightforward, is it?

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