December 11, 2013, by Belle Boggs
The third in a miniseries from Belle Boggs, in which we follow a group of North Carolina high school students as they document their community via interviews, portraits, and aerial photography.
After completing our first aerial landscapes of a former tobacco farm in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina, we traveled with the students to two nearby towns. The first, Fair Bluff, is a town of approximately 900 people, and although it has touches of small-town charm—benches and flower boxes, colorful flags along Main Street—you can’t miss the signs of financial struggle. The town’s only bank, recently closed, had signs on the door and deposit window directing you to branches in Whiteville. Empty storefronts, dusty displays. Even the online betting parlor had been cleared out.
Students spread out across the town’s three blocks, taking photographs and interviewing residents and shopkeepers. They knew this town—there were so few other places to go—and had an idea of what they wanted to capture, in words and images.