Sunday, October 07 - 12:00PM to 12:30PM
Lecture Center 102
Treece, Kansas, is part of Tar Creek, the largest EPA Superfund site in the States. It was incorporated in 1918 as a home for lead and zinc miners. The last mines closed in the '70s, leaving behind a small community of the children and grandchildren of miners.
Poor mining practices left the ground unstable and full of sinkholes. Mountains of "chat," the toxic remnants of the mining, surround the town. According to a 2009 test, 8.8 percent of Treece's children had elevated blood-lead levels, compared to 2.9 percent statewide.
I began photographing when the government decided to fund a buyout of the entire town, and the residents had this impending dissolution of their community and homes hanging over their heads. The houses are now gone; the roads have been torn up. The vacant land itself was sold in 2014. The EPA is still working on reclaiming the land, and the town that remains is unrecognizable.
This project is about understanding the transformation and finality of community, changes in the structure of home and the destruction of land, and the subsequent birth of a new identity.