“In Land We Trust” – A current project

September 15th, 2015

“The America Project”

Segment One – “In Land We Trust.”

On September 29th, I will be leaving Joshua Tree to begin a long-term dream project. The project is called the “America Project.” It began with a prose poem I wrote a couple of years ago. Writing the poem brought a flood of images, feelings, revelations and discoveries to the surface. I realized how deeply grateful I am for being American, even with an acute awareness of the difficulties and challenges that entails, both personally and universally.

The piece evolved into a multimedia project incorporating sound, storytelling, articles, video and photographs. It has taken time to develop and to acquire the needed equipment as well as learn the new devices. It is ongoing, and I’m still learning.

I have been photographing and writing articles in the high desert. That has felt rewarding, but the story about America is demanding a deeper investigation and more voices. I am personally intrigued by the natural force this story has and eager to see where it will go.
Segment I – In Land WE Trust
The Southwestern part of the “America Project.”

Step by step I have been breaking this project down, deciding what is relevant, and looking for unique and personal ways to present the material. The first segment is about land and the diverse relationships Americans have to it. I will drive through the southwest and interview people involved in land conservation, including farmers, and ranchers.

This portion of the project is called, “In Land We Trust.” It focuses on the Southwest and will include practices, doctrines, policy and experiences, mostly it will focus on people and their attitudes about land. I will interview members of NGO land organizations as well as government organizations and people who live and work on the land. I will be traveling to Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas looking for stories. The trip will take one month. This portion of the project will include my previous photos and research of the Mojave Desert. The final product will include audio, written word, spoken word, video, and photographs. There is a book in there too. I will give presentations when I return. Schedules are currently being negotiated.

I will keep a daily written and audio diary of my journey, as well as Facebook updates and email updates to anyone interested. Please contact me if you want to be on this list.

September 29th – I will leave home and drive to Flagstaff to connect with a local land trust. This is not yet confirmed.

October 29 – October 30 – I will stay in Flagstaff for at least one day and then drive to Santa Fe.
(No accommodations made yet)

October 1st and 2nd – Santa Fe Land Trust Organizations
(staying with a friend until I leave Santa Fe)

October 3rd – My friend’s award party.

September 4th – in Santa Fa I will get interviews of local people and confirm appointments for my return trip at the end of the month.

October 5th – I will go to Albuquerque, spend time with a friend and photograph the land around Albuquerque.
(accommodations made)

October 5th or 6th – drive to Norman Oklahoma

October 7th to 11th – the SEJ conference
(staying at an Airbnb)

October 12th and 13th – explore Norman Oklahoma, interviews with experts at the University and people in and around town.
(No accommodations made for this portion of the trip)
October, 15th – Drive to Canton, Oklahoma, Andrea Hutchison in Okla., the Chain Ranch
(An appointment has been made, but I don’t know how long I will be staying)(No accommodations yet)

October 16th – 3 G Ranch in Childress Texas
Spoke to owner but plans are tentative and open
(No set dates and no accommodations made yet)

October 16th, 17th, or 18th – Big Thicket National Preserve
Will make appointments to interview Rangers
(possibly camping)

October 17th or 18th – Houston
Will set up appointments with local land trusts

Possible stop in Dallas

October 18th or/to 22nd – San Antonio
(Two day stop, explore local history and culture)
(no accommodations made yet)

October 22nd to 23rd – Austin
Interviews with local land trusts
(possibly stay with friends)

October 24th – drive back to Santa Fe.
October 25th connect with friends
October 26th and 27th I will interview local land trusts, art organizations and artists involved with land conservation.

October 27th – 29th – Drive to Phoenix
Land Trust Organization and hiking around Cave Creek
(no accommodations yet)

October 30th – drive home through the Mojave Preserve, to Amboy
(trip will take two days – Maybe camping, maybe motels)
I will return the first week of November – Back in Joshua Tree
Traveling time between locations.

Joshua Tree to Flagstaff 5 hours
Flagstaff to Santa Fe 5 hours
Santa Fe to Albuquerque 1 hour
Santa Fe to Norman is 7 hours
From Childress to Houston 7 hours
From Big Thicket to Austin 3 hours
Santa Fe to Big Thicket is 7 hours

Norman to Big Thicket is 6 hours
Austin to Phoenix is 12 hours
Austin to Joshua Tree is 16 hours
Austin to Santa Fe is 10 hours
Phoenix to Joshua Tree 4 hourIMG_5468

2 Responses to ““In Land We Trust” – A current project”

  1. Brenda Littleton says:

    What a glorious rites of passage: a journey of land, relationship, self, and inquiry. I will be honored to bear witness to your work. Please add me to your list of followers. I so enjoy your photography that to now have it reside as a documentary is a beautiful addition to your meaning-making process. Please know you are loved, and I will be thinking of you daily, wondering about your day, your space, your experience.

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