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2018 Annual Conference

Philadelphia

March 01-04, 2018

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2018 SPE Annual Conference: Uncertain Times: Borders, Refuge, Community, Nationhood / Hosted by The University of the Arts

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Sant Khalsa

SPE Member since 2001
Member Chapter: West

Death of the Heart

The "Death of the Heart" photographs depict, interpret, and give aesthetic presence to the slow death of rural small towns throughout the contemporary Midwest. Owing to corporate farming and the plight of the small farmer, the proliferation and strategies of big box stores, the interstate freeway system, and the ongoing migration of rural populations into urban and suburban spaces, a ghost town phenomenon has swept through the farm states. The loss is not only economic but cultural, and the causes are complex. These images were made while I journeyed in West Kansas in 2002, traveling 1170 miles on country roads to several dozen farm towns with population of one hundred or less (yet in the past thousands). I photographed the sparse, yet historically and visually rich remains of these towns and the surrounding landscapes. The images speak of memories deeply planted in these places, provide critical and creative insight, and capture this astonishing historical event, to reveal and preserve it. The photographs represent my experience of these (extra)ordinary places and record the evidence of change, loss, and absence. -Sant Khalsa

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Somewhere in Kansas

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