The monumental structures that make up the Lowell Mills complex, once a thriving center of industrialization in Massachusetts, are now nothing more than eyesores clinging to the periphery of a city that once thrived upon their mere existence. Over the last century the fast pace of technological advancement has out-moded many systems of production, leaving them and the structures that housed them, discarded and abandoned. Yet, in the wake of their disintegration there remains a story to be told.
With this work, I sought to recognize the significance of these textile mills and the families that spent their entire lives living and breathing within their walls. The Lowell Mills were once the homes and working grounds of thousands of immigrants, mostly Irish and Polish, who came to America with hopes of earning money and returning to their families and homelands. Few made it back. Mothers, fathers, and children often worked twelve-hour days in hazardous conditions for pennies a day. I photographed these buildings to suggest those people, their stories, and their lives, forever embedded in the factory walls.
Nastasha Moustache grew up in San Jose, CA and moved to Boston to attend Simmons College in 2000. She graduated in 2004 with a BA in Graphic Design and Photography and participated in CPW’s artist residency the following summer of 2005. She now resides in Dorchester, MA and works as a freelance photographer in Boston.