Hillbilly Heroin, Honey.
Photographs by Hannah Modigh.
Journal, 2010. 172 pp., Color and black & white illustrations throughout, 10x9½".
Hidden by by fog and concealed by the beautiful Appalachian
mountains, the people pictured in this book and their struggle against
poverty are invisible to the surrounding world.
The photos in Hannah Modigh's first book are taken 2006 in and
around the small town of St Charles in Virginia, USA – a community
marked by generations of coal-mining in subterranean mines. Today,
unemployment there is vast.
'Hillbilly heroin' is a slang term for the prescription painkiller
Oxycontin, often used by miners. There is a wide-spread black
market for this drug, which in high dosage has a heroin-like effect.
'By way of my photos, I'm trying to get rid of the feeling of timeless
vacuum which hit me during my sojourn in St Charles,' Hannah
Hillbilly Heroin, Honey is the winner of The Swedish Photo Book
Award 2010. Statement of the jury: 'A strong, courageous and at the
same time humble depiction of a for many of us unknown world. With
help of a sensitive graphic design the photographer takes us beyond
exotism and transform the coal dust into gold.'
Read Sarah Bradley's photo-eye Blog post on Hillbilly Heroin, Honey here.