At first you don’t see the depth of the scars—on the land or within the people. In many ways it is subtle, this fracking business, and that is a surprise as it can potentially poison everything from ground water and air quality to the very fabric of the communities that play host to its rigs and workers.
In over 35 years behind the camera I have seen many citizens rendered voiceless by government and industrial powers. But that was on the other side of the world— Cambodia, India, China, and across the African continent. I never expected to see US citizens treated like Third World peasants—steam rolled, bought off, silenced.
The “Marcellus Shale Documentary Project” is a unique opportunity to father and share photographic images that address one of this nations most pressing environmental issues. Working as a witness in the project was both invigorating and sobering. I chose to document activists fighting against all odds—common people whose lives had been upended by a rolling tide of strangers and their machines.
Teachers, farmers, truck drivers, retired people, moms, students, scientists—the government may label them eco-terrorists but I think of them as everyday heroes.
Lynn Johnson holds a B.A. in Photographic Illustration and Photojournalism from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Masters from the School of Visual Communications at Ohio University. She was a Staff Photographer at The Pittsburgh Press for seven years before beginning her freelance career as a contract photographer for Black Star, then Aurora Photos. She is currently represented by the National Geographic Image Collection.