Hidden by fog and concealed by the beautiful Appalachian mountains, the people pictured in this book and their struggle against poverty are invisible to the surrounding world.
The photos in Hannah Modigh’s first book are taken 2006 in and around the small town of St Charles in Virginia, USA – a community marked by generations of coal-mining in subterranean mines. Today, unemployment there is vast.
‘Hillbilly heroin’ is a slang term for the prescription painkiller Oxycontin, often used by miners. There is a wide-spread black market for this drug, which in high dosage has a heroin-like effect. ‘By way of my photos, I’m trying to get rid of the feeling of timeless vacuum which hit me during my sojourn in St Charles,’ Hannah Modigh says.
Hillbilly Heroin, Honey is the winner of The Swedish Photo Book Award 2010. Statement of the jury: ‘A strong, courageous and at the same time humble depiction of a for many of us unknown world. With help of a sensitive graphic design the photographer takes us beyond exotism and transform the coal dust into gold.’