Between the Bottomlands & the World explores Beardstown, IL, a rural Midwestern town of 6000 people--a place of global exchange and international mobility, inscribed by post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) realities. It consists of a series of videos, photographs, exhibitions and narrative writing.
The video series tells a story of Beardstown in three acts.
Act One: Submerging Land, portrays a landscape massively engineered to redirect water for the production of commodity crops.
Act Two: Granular Space, is a meditation on the movement and scale of the international grain trade--from one seed to millions of bushels, moved from field, to elevator, to barge, to ocean going vessel.
Act Three: Moving Flesh, chronicles how and why so many people from around the world have come to Beardstown, a formerly all-white, Sundown town of 6000 people.
Moving Flesh is based on the research, analysis and fieldwork of Faranak Miraftab. See her book "Global Heartland: Displaced Labor, Transnational Lives, and Local Placemaking"
Featuring a soundtrack by Mark Cooley, and the acting of Karen Alderidge, John Gray, Saren Nofs-Snyder, Yunuen Pardo, Mateo Smith, Eddie Torres and visual and audio assistance by Casey Puccini and M. Anthony Reimer.
The glossary is a non-linear presentation of our narrative writing with a small selection of photographs, organized by a set of key terms.
A project by Ryan Griffis & Sarah Ross for Regional Relationships.
Between the Bottomlands & the World is supported in part by The Illinois Arts Council, a state agency and The College of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign