GOOD BAD PEOPLE: Methamphetamine use on Sand Mountain, Marshall County, Alabama. IN PROGRESS
The recent rise in the use of methamphetamine across the United States over the last decade has led to increased cultural anxiety about the drug and those who use it, while the general perception of the meth-head is one perpetuated by popular television programs and pervasive anti-meth campaigns. These perceptions paint one-dimensional, demonized characters whose chronic meth use is epitomized by obsessiveness, paranoia, and monstrous physical side effects. While there are certainly deleterious consequences to meth use and the stereotypes often ring too true, existing cultural narratives fall short of more complex, contradictory, and individually considered realities.
Photographed over a year’s time, GOOD BAD PEOPLE documents the tumultuous lives of more than 50 meth users from Sand Mountain, a sandstone plateau in northeast Alabama infamous for meth production, poultry processing plants, and Pentecostal snake-handlers. Together the photographs present an intimate, contextualized look at those who live in rural poverty and struggle to gain a sense of agency amidst drug use and diminished social status.