Monthly Archives: June 2013

Rural America: After the Recession, by James Swift and Jan Banning, in Youth Today

Landscape in rural Georgia

Landscape in rural Georgia

James Swift, author of the text in my photo book “Down and Out in the South”, writes this about our publication in the magazine Youth Today:

“I am thrilled to announce the publication of “Rural America: After the Recession,” a multimedia project detailing the impact of the economic downturn on the denizens of one rural community — Bartow County — in northwest Georgia: James Swift, author of the text in my photo book “Down and Out in the South”, writes this about our publication in the magazine Youth Today.

Much more than just a feature about the Great Recession’s toll on country-dwellers, the project is also, more or less, my life story. It gave me a chance to revisit my roots and tell the story of my people — a population so frequently caricaturized and forgotten — and their uphill challenges in the face of the greatest economic crisis in modern American history.

Not only is “Rural America” an insight into the lives of America’s unsung citizens — the rural working class — it’s also a detailed analysis of Southeastern culture. What makes the sting of the Great Recession so much worse for country-dwellers…in particular, those in the Deep South…than for others across the United States?

With photography by Jan Banning — a world renowned artist from the Netherlands, whose socially conscious works have been featured on CNN — and commentary from Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg and Taki’s Magazine’s Jim Goad, “Rural America” isn’t just a feature about economic devastation, it’s also a frank, heartfelt glimpse into the minds and souls of the nation’s oft-misunderstood rural citizens.

It’s a story about family, and meaning, and perseverance amidst total ruin. Simply put, it’s the best thing I’ve ever written, and I am honored and forever grateful that Youth Today and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange gave me the opportunity to assemble it for you.”

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