Photography Director, Executive Producer & Visual Storyteller

Geography of Poverty: Heartland

Geography of Poverty: Heartland Matt Black Amy Pereira

GEOGRAPHY OF POVERTY: HEARTLAND

The following summer we continued the project in the heartland of the country, where we focused our attention deep into the old industrial enclaves that dot the so-called Rust Belt, a vast stretch of post-industrial towns that once turned natural resources into economic wealth from the Great Lakes to the upper Midwest states. But with advancements in automation and the expansion of the global economy and trade, many of the industrial towns that once served as the country’s economic heartbeat are now on life support. Economic decline here has been happening for decades with thousands of laid-off workers over the years. Recently, the area lost two of its largest employers — U.S. Steel and Republic Steel.  After months of layoffs, both finally halted operations in the spring of 2016. Devastating the local economy further. There’s deep resentment among many workers who see foreign countries siphoning off jobs and little being done by Washington to protect the livelihoods of American workers.

heartland_002.JPG
heartland_003.JPG
heartland_004.JPG
heartland_005.JPG
heartland_006.JPG
heartland_007.JPG
heartland_008.JPG
heartland_009.JPG
 

Links to Geography of Poverty chapters: