Blog Archives

Making sense of crisis: The West Virginia floods

Photos courtesy of Nate May.

In this guest post, West Virginia resident and former coordinator of The Alliance for Appalachia Katey Lauer shares her perspective on the aftermath of the storms and the humanity she witnessed as communities come together and begin to rebuild.


From inside Appalachia, a look at WGN’s “Outsiders”

Photo by Ulf Andersen.

Exclusive to the Front Porch: WGN’s television series “Outsiders” doesn’t leave a single stereotype of Appalachia unturned. In this essay exclusive to the Front Porch Blog, award-winning author Ron Rash reflects on how stereotypes cloak harms much more profound than cultural misperceptions: “The region is diverse, and many areas are doing well, but for those that are not, might a show focused on “retard hillbilly animals” make it easier for America to ignore the region’s needs?”


New Program Makes Learning Cherokee Easier

Cherokee is “the original language of the Appalachians,” and a new online program is making this difficult language easier to learn.


Out of Frame: Regional Stereotypes in Photography

Doris Ulmann, “Maggie Lewis and Wilma Creech, Pine Mountain, KY,” 1934, Photograph on paper, Bequest of Doris Ulmann, Berea College Art Collection 150.140.2022, With Permission of the Doris Ulmann Foundation

By Lou Murrey Earlier this year, a photo essay published by Vice Magazine titled “Two Days in Appalachia” provoked controversy over the portrayal of the region in the media. The images were made in the photographer Bruce Gilden’s signature style,


Documenting Appalachia

Betty Harrah featured in “Overburden.” Movie stills provided by Chad A. Stevens

Filmmakers Discuss Their Work in the Region By Elizabeth E. Payne It has been almost forty years since “Harlan County, USA” (1976) brought attention to the miners’ strike at the Brookside Mine in southeast Kentucky. Since then, dozens of films,


“After Coal,” Beyond the Big Screen

Filmmaker Tom Hansell and camera person Suzanne Clouseau interview Geraint Lewis near Abercraf, Wales. The company Lewis started, Call of the Wild, has repurposed an old farm and created a leadership development center. Photo by Mair Francis

By Samantha Eubanks Appalachia has long been misrepresented in media. As a result, many filmmakers working in the region have made a push to ensure accurate portrayals of community members. One way the filmmakers are doing this is by including


Land through the Lens

Photographs of Appalachia’s wild wonders have shaped our relationship with the mountains since the early 20th century, and witnessing the destruction of the region’s land and waters has long stirred residents to defend our natural heritage. – Compiled by Molly


Peter Givens

Photo by Carole Givens.

Countering Stereotypes in the Classroom and on the Parkway By Dan Radmacher Peter Givens has made a career out of dispelling Appalachian myths and stereotypes, first as a ranger for the National Park Service and now as a faculty member


Mountain Music Trail Winds Through WV

Following U.S. Route 219 through five counties in West Virginia, the Mountain Music Trail highlights the old-time music of the Mountain State.


Appalachian Millennials and social media in Wyoming County

Photographer Brady Darragh and activist Chuck Nelson stand outside the abandoned union hall in Lindytown, W.Va. Lindytown's population, like that of Coalville, was displaced by the mining industry.

Guest Contributor Donald Welch: The Rural Appalachian Improvement League encourages plenty of groups to visit the Mullens, W.Va., area to volunteer. But, as an organization focused on sustainability and creating social change in southern West Virginia, the group also uses social media to engage youth and create opportunities for local residents.