Press Release: Dragline

January 20, 2009


MEDIA CONTACTS: Appalachia Watch: Antrim Caskey 304 854 7788
Climate Ground Zero: Mike Roselle 304 854 7372

Magazine to be fundraising tool — designed to inform, inspire action
to stop mountaintop removal coal mining

ROCK CREEK, W. Va. — Appalachia Watch – a journalism advocacy project – and Climate Ground Zero – a pressure campaign to stop mountaintop removal coal mining – have released Dragline, a devastating 74-page photojournalistic exposé of mountaintop removal coal mining and the frontlines campaign to end it.

Dragline chronicles the fight against mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia and the non-violent direct action campaign to stop it. Dragline is a work of classic photojournalism — in design and intent — inspired by great photojournalistic works like W. Eugene Smith’s Minamata (1975) and Philip Jones-Griffiths’ Vietnam Inc (1971), ” said Antrim Caskey, director of Appalachia Watch and creator of Dragline.

“ Climate Ground Zero will distribute the initial 6,000 copies to news media and decision makers in an effort to draw attention to the deadly consequences of mining and burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, which we use for almost half our electricity, ” said Mike Roselle, Climate Ground Zero’s campaign director.

The forty-six color photographs – most being published for the first time – are punctuated with excerpts from Caskey’s original reporting, which began in May 2005 while on assignment for the New York City-based newspaper, the Indypendent. Since then, Caskey has made more than 20 independent reporting trips to West Virginia, publishing her work in newspapers and news magazines along the way.

Caskey moved from Brooklyn, New York to the Rock Creek, WV in September 2008 to live and work in the field full-time. Over the past year she has documented the direct action campaign against mountaintop removal as the embedded photojournalist with Climate Ground Zero, which has taken her to new territory: the witness stand. On May 1, 2009, Caskey was held in contempt of court – along with four activists – in Raleigh County District Court for violating Massey Energy’s Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) by her continued reporting on the peaceful protests. Massey vs. Caskey is pending appeal. Caskey’s attorney Roger Forman promises to take the case to the highest court.

Caskey’s documentary photography has focused on community and social justice issues in such diverse locations as the streets of New York City, the war in Afghanistan, the new cities of India and the hollers of Appalachia. Caskey has published her work in newspapers like the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Indian Express; as well as magazines like the Smithsonian, Orion and Le Point.

In December 2009, Caskey earned her Masters of Art in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, with Distinction, from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Caskey hopes to expand her journalism project to include the Rock Creek School of Photography, a burgeoning field school to advance and foster long form documentary photography, investigative journalism, and the printed page.

Dragline will be available by mail only. Please contact Climate Ground Zero directly. Dragline will not be released electronically.


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