Hillbilly heroin, honey
The photos were shot in a coal-mining town called St Charles, situated in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains hidden by the fog. The mines have been closed down, one by one, and with them work opportunities needed for the survival of the community have disappeared. The use of OxyContin, a painkiller that has the side effect of killing all feelings, is more common in St Charles than anywhere else in the USA (according to local press at that time 2006). The drug is locally called “hillbilly heroin”. I mostly photographed young men. Expectations on them as providers and macho men in a society where there is no work made their expression more strong. I want my pictures to leave the feeling of vacuum and timelessness that hit me during my time in St Charles. I do not focus on the poverty, the drugs or the society problems. The crack in the soul is more important than the one on the wall. I want people to be mentally exhausted by seeing all these shut in feelings.