MARCELLUS SHALE DOCUMENTARY PROJECT
Curated by Laura Domencic
June 29 – August 18, 2013
The six photographers of the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project have taken on the responsibility of telling, in the best traditions of social and environmental documentary, the complex story of Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
For the best part of a year, they have traveled across the Commonwealth, meeting people and listening to and recording their stories. They have reached out to farmers, homeowners, and tenants; medical practitioners, engineers, and legal professionals; casual protesters and full-blown activists; to people who feel they have benefited from gas drilling, and to those who feel they have been victimized; to people whose lives have been forever changed, for better and for worse. Each member of the team has brought a different aesthetic, and has chosen a different angle from which to view the subject. They have identified locations that range from intensively drilled to the margins of the gas fields. Together, they offer a compelling narrative that represents, we believe, an honest appraisal of how the arrival of Marcellus Shale drilling has affected communities around the Commonwealth. Marcellus Shale drilling in Pennsylvania has proven itself a deeply divisive phenomenon. Politically and socially, lines have been drawn, between friends and neighbors—sometimes right down the middle of the kitchen table. You are, it seems, either for or against it. But, in clearing away some of the misinformation from both sides of the debate, the project aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding Marcellus Gas drilling, and at the same time, gives notice to those who claim that this is a process that brings with it no peril.
To learn more about the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project and view more photos by the artists involved, visit the-msdp.us.
This project would not have been possible were it not for the significant financial and moral support of the following: The Sprout Fund, The Pittsburgh Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, Josh Whetzel, Nancy Bernstein, and Cathy Raphael. —