Hollow

Hollow

Posts tagged “poverty”

McDowell County ranks poorest in West Virginia--US POVERTY

We challenge EVERYONE to share the Hollow teaser today to show the other side of what MSN Money calls “the poorest county” in West Virginia. Despite the abandoned buildings and poverty, there IS hope and beauty in McDowell. https://vimeo.com/44657010

The poorest counties in America

A young boy sits on the porch of his home near Delbarton, WV. His father drove a coal truck until he became disabled and is now trying to raise his six children on his own after his wife left him and their $80 a month house. Craig Cunningham/Charleston Daily Mail

A young boy sits on the porch of his home near Delbarton, WV. His father drove a coal truck until he became disabled and is now trying to raise his six children on his own after his wife left him and their $80 a month house. Craig Cunningham/Charleston Daily Mail

After a not-so-flattering portrait of McDowell County was disseminated by the Australian Broadcasting company, many residents felt unfairly portrayed and diminished once again by mainstream media.

This is the response of Renee Bolden on the McDowell County FB page.

Those of who live or have lived in McDowell County knows that not “everything you see is on drugs.” McDowell is so rich in everything but money (coal, history, and talent , just to name a few). There are good and bad people, just like everywhere else. But most (not all) of us from “The County” have a love for it that most other people just don’t understand. Long live the “Free State of McDowell”! 

Other thoughts were posted on musician Alan Johnston’s Facebook wall, who was featured in the segment playing music and talking about his family history:

Great interview, my friend, but the rest of the video was garbage. Didn’t interview teachers…educators…professionals……Ms. Battlo was pretty good but (Senator John) Fanning should have known better and the one guy that’s been on drugs all his life…..oh well…..

another opinion

Alan, You did a good job but this video is garbage. I am so angry that these guys came in here and chose so carefully to make us look so bad. I am so glad that I refused them an interview. I had a funny feeling. oh well. At least we got to hear you sing.

I couldn’t agree more with these ideas and want to emphasize that Hollow will be nothing like this negative, one-sided portrait. Eric Gordon, who is an advisor on the film, commented about the ABC piece in regards to Hollow 

The end and its focus on history and tourism seems more aligned with the story you want to tell.  But, again, I think your project is less about a story YOU want to tell, and more of an experiment that asks if you let the people tell the story, will it be different than this?

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

So shame on you Australian Broadcasting Corporation for adding to the library of media that diminishes the importance and culture of this area. It is baffling to me, as a media professional, that such a one-sided and poorly researched piece can be distributed internationally. 

"West Virginia's Bleak Outlook"

A portrait of McDowell County, West Virginia (the same county Hollow will focus on). See the full story from Australian Broadcasting Company here.

I spoke to Jean Battlo (a resident featured in the segment) earlier today and she was quite disappointed about how negative the piece is. 

Grow Appalachia

 

In early 2009 the development office at Berea College received a phone call from an individual who was interested in helping families in the Appalachian mountains grow more of their own food. This gentleman was Tommy Callahan, Senior Vice President of Training and Development, John Paul Mitchell Systems (JPMS). Tommy was inquiring on behalf of John Paul Dejoria, co-founder and CEO of JPMS. Tommy, John Paul’s long time business associate, is from Harlan County, Kentucky, one of the Commonwealth’s distressed counties, and has a deep sensitivity towards the challenges that face Appalachian families every day.

The basic purpose of Grow Appalachia is to teach and support the people of Appalachia in addressing the tragedy of hunger in the region by learning to grow their own food to feed themselves.

Check out the first year results and blog fro Grow Appalachia here