The People of Clouds

Photographer

Matt Black

Concept

The People of Clouds documents the unraveling of one the world's oldest farming cultures in the Mixteca region of southern Mexico, where land erosion and collapsing corn prices from free trade are bleeding communities dry.  An "environmental disaster zone" in the words of the World Bank, up to five meters of topsoil have been lost in some areas, and some communities have lost 80% of their population to migration to the United States.

Biography

Photographer Matt Black's work has documented rural poverty, migration, and the social and environmental impact of modern agriculture for over a decade.  A native of rural California, he lives in the state's Central Valley.

www.mattblack.com

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Featured Projects



Ross Island and the Future of the McMurdo Sound Region


Photographer: Alasdair Turner

We have entered a time when places the least near us beckon us to understand them, to feel them so that while we tred on our part of the Earth they are constantly with us and with our choices. Ross Island and the McMurdo Sound Region and the science being conducted there embody what is left of our critical and fragile ecosystems and our attempts to understand them. They are not land for a nation but a place for the world. This project is intended to emotionally and scientifically engage citizens of every nation about why this place and the incredible science that is being conducted there matters. It will give life to and investigate the science of the region from the earliest expeditions to today’s ongoing research.


Between River and Sea


Photographer: Michael Hanson

Between River and Sea focuses on life in and around Apalachicola, FL. For over a century, an independent, hand-built industry has drifted through the shallow waters of the Apalachicola Bay. This bay, one of the most productive and unique ecosystems in the country, once produced 10% of the nation’s oysters and 90% of Florida's. Today, only a handful of oystermen have work and this community struggles to maintain its tradition and livelihood. Oysters need a mix of freshwater and saltwater. They depend on this balance but the freshwater coming down the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin has been drastically cut short by a series of dams and overuse in Georgia and Alabama. As droughts persist alongside a constant pressure from a major metropolitan city at the headwaters, the Apalachicola Bay clings to a trickle of water. The project aims to connect users throughout the watershed and expose what's at the end of the river. It also aims to celebrate the bay and a lifestyle that revolves around the perfect mix of fresh and salt water.


Fracking: Forgotten on the Bakken


Photographer: Bruce Farnsworth

Forgotten on the Bakken illustrates the environmental and cultural impacts of fracking, an industry now underway in 20 states. This project begins on the northern great plains but is representative of experiences throughout fracking country. Traditions of open space and agrarian livelihoods have been disrupted by a flurry of activities associated with the high-volume hydraulic fracturing industry. North Dakota—situated on the Bakken geologic formation—is now the second highest oil-producing state in the nation.