travelogue

DO GOOD FUND ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

A photographic survey of the state of Alabama made during a time of national urgency. Read the residency proposal here.

On the road Fall 2020-Spring 2021; and Winter-Spring 2022. Follow the project travelogue here and via Instagram @jaredragland.

Over the course of the project I’ll be reading and sharing from a list of Alabama-focused literature along with selections on photo history and ethics, documentary practices, and contemporary imagemakers. See the list here: Residency Reading List.


About The Do Good Fund, Inc: Since its founding in 2012, the Columbus, Georgia based public charity has focused on building a museum-quality collection of photographs taken in the American South since World War II. The collection ranges from works by more than twenty Guggenheim Fellows to images by lesser known and emerging photographers working in the region, each contributing to the visual narrative of the ever-changing South. Do Good’s mission is to make its collection of nearly 600 images broadly accessible through regional museums, nonprofit galleries, and nontraditional venues and to encourage complementary, community-based programming to accompany each exhibition. For more, visit thedogoodfund.org and follow @thedogoodfund.

The project is also made with the support of the Magnum Foundation, Wiregrass Museum of Art, Coleman Center for the Arts, Alabama State Council on the Arts, and Columbus State University.


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NOTES FROM THE ROAD


05.07.21 – WIREGRASS



 
Continuing travels across the Wiregrass region with the support of the Wiregrass Museum of Art this week, with stops in Opp, Enterprise, Elba, Andalusia, Red Level, Luverne, Florala.


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05.03.21 – WIREGRASS



 
This week I’m on the road down in the Wiregrass region with the support of the Wiregrass Museum of Art. One of the first locations I visited is the site where Rosa Parks once lived, just outside of Abbeville in Henry Co.

Shortly after her birth in Tuskegee in 1913, Parks’ parents moved the family to a 260 acre family farm at this location in Henry Co. Thirty years later, Parks returned to Henry Co. on behalf of the NAACP to investigate the rape of a Black mother by seven white young men. In 1955 she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery bus and became known as the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement of America.”


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04.30.21 – OLD FEDERAL ROAD, DAY 4: CREEK STAND




On Wednesday I finished driving the Old Federal Road across Alabama — finishing a leg of the road leading from Phenix City to Tuskegee and on to Mt. Meigs and Montgomery, driving the original road route – and sometimes the actual road itself – whenever possible. Midway between Phenix City and Montgomery are a series of former Creek trading posts, including Creek Stand, which later became home to a community of formerly enslaved African Americans. At Creek Stand is the Creek Stand A.M.E. Zion Church and cemetery. Founded in 1895 by freedmen, the church stood at the center of the African American community and is also home to several unmarked graves of enslaved people. The church was also one of several “roundup” sites where young white doctors and nurses with little clinical experience would meet groups of Black men from the local community and practice their diagnostic skills as part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. Several men subjected to the unethical study are buried in the cemetery.

First designated as a postal route by Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s, the Federal Road stretched through Creek territory in lower Alabama and ushered in a new era of national expansion, communication, and exploitation of Native American and enslaved people. Crudely constructed overtop ancient Indigenous trails, the road functioned as a major thoroughfare for the western migration of settlers and enslaved people into present-day Alabama for the first three decades of the 19th cen. This colonial migration – what became known as “Alabama Fever” – ultimately led to the Creek Wars and the forced cessation of more than 21 million acres of Muscogee (Creek) territory and the establishment of the plantation system.1


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04.29.21 – OLD FEDERAL ROAD, DAY 4: PHENIX CITY




On Wednesday I finished driving the Old Federal Road across Alabama — finishing a leg of the road leading from Phenix City to Montgomery, driving the original road route – and sometimes the actual road itself – whenever possible. Located on the Chattahoochee River near the former Creek centers of Coweta and Yuchi Town, Phenix City has known a violent and fraught history. In the mid 20th cen., it was home to the Dixie Mafia, and as murders, prostitution, and gambling ran rampant the town became known as “the wickedest city in the United States.” 

First designated as a postal route by Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800s, the Federal Road stretched through Creek territory in lower Alabama and ushered in a new era of national expansion, communication, and exploitation of Native American and enslaved people. Crudely constructed overtop ancient Indigenous trails, the road functioned as a major thoroughfare for the western migration of settlers and enslaved people into present-day Alabama for the first three decades of the 19th cen. This colonial migration – what became known as “Alabama Fever” – ultimately led to the Creek Wars and the forced cessation of more than 21 million acres of Muscogee (Creek) territory and the establishment of the plantation system.1


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