Join us for the opening reception on Friday, February 10, 5 – 7 pm.
The show will run February 10 – March 3
The Appalachian economy is driven by the highly-pollutive fossil fuel industry, which began nearly two and a half decades ago. Extraction diminishes air and water quality, landscapes are scarred, while communities suffer at the mercy of a boom-and-bust cycle, trending toward the bust.
Path Dependency refers to a sort of historical inertia resulting from a resistance to change. Historical choices limit our options today. Contemporary choices limit the choices that will be available in the future.
We’re hanging on to an economy driven by extraction, even as we are developing newer and cleaner methods of meeting our needs. But we drag our heels because existing structures and institutions constrain the ways we live – economically, politically, culturally, ecologically. Path Dependency is a visual document that chronicles the legacy our ancestors left for us and – if we continue to stall – what we will be forced to leave those who come after us.
“The heroes have to win every time. The villain only has to win once.” Our natural world teeters on a brittle fulcrum. Lifeforms that can’t vote depend on us to do what’s right. When we choose to destroy nature in favor of human progress, something special is lost forever.
Photojournalism employs images in order to tell a story. The form’s ethics are: the photographer must produce an accurate and comprehensive representation of the story, and the photographer must avoid staging or manipulating reality. Chad J. Reich (10 04-1981, USA) is the Executive Director of High Country Conservation Advocates, the environmental and conservation-based nonprofit that protects the health and natural beauty of the land, rivers, and wildlife in and around Gunnison County now and for future generations. Before stepping into the lead role at HCCA, Chad was a journalist and program manager at KBUT—FM, Community Radio for the Gunnison Valley.
In the vein of Mitch Epstein’s American Power photographic series, Reich explores themes of extraction, economies, communities, and landscapes in photography, video, audio, and now in frontline conservation.
Watch Chad’s film on fracking in Colorado’s North Fork Valley here.