Chillin' at Luckie's
I took these photographs at and around Lucky's corner store, near the intersection of Fort Hill and Main Street in East Macon, Georgia. The corner store is the center of activity on Main street, which was once lined with thriving businesses, including a hardware store, grocery store and two movie theaters, serving the mostly white workers of the nearby Bibb Cotton Mill. If you hang out at Luckie's for a few hours, you'll be present to a whole cross-section of this now black, mostly blighted and, until recently, ignored and avoided neighborhood, owing to the fact that it is the one remaining business on the street. But East Macon stands on the cusp of redevelopment, with old mill houses being fixed up by local organizations and non-profits, in service of a soon-to-be-unveiled 'artist's village' that has both thoughtful skeptics and sincere supporters in Macon.
With the help of my friend, collaborator and eastside resident Charvis Harrell, I started hanging out with my 4x5 press camera and taking polaroids of people who passed by. The exchange went like this: I approach a person or group and ask if they want their photo taken. They pose however they want, and two minutes later they have a polaroid print in their hands to take home. This particular polaroid film also produces a functional film negative, which I processed later at home using bleach and scanned into the computer, making these images. My interest is in the performances, conversations and shared discovery prompted by the magic of photo-making.
In making these pictures, I wanted to uplift the people of East Macon who I've grown to admire so much. Props to you, Eastside. Much love.