"A community is the mental and spiritual condition of knowing that the place is shared, and that the people who share the place define and limit the possibilities of each other's lives. It is the knowledge that people have of each other, their concern for each other, their trust in each other, the freedom with which they come and go among themselves."
Wendell Berry

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday May 27th

Explore Whitesburg
Tour of Appalshop


  1. I really enjoyed listening to our main speaker from Appalshop. He was very honest with us and told us a lot of things about his views of eastern Kentucky. I thought it was sad when he told us that back in high school, he and his friends would sit at the lunch table and talk about how much they hated eastern Kentucky and how they couldn't wait to graduate and get out of there. He spoke about this lack of pride and being ashamed of his home and his accent. It wasn't until he learned more about this place he was from that he started to gain a sense of pride.

    I also liked how this speaker addressed the word "hillbilly." I had wanted to ask several people during our trip about this word because I wasn't sure what exactly it meant. I knew it wasn't a "nice" word, but at the nursing home on Thursday, one of the workers used it and she sounded very proud of being considered a hillbilly. The speaker talked about some may use it as a way to reclaim the word and give it a better meaning, but he made a good point when he said, "Why would I want to reclaim a word that other people used to label and insult me?" (not his exact words but similar...). It was like he knew what I wanted to ask and answered it.

    I'm glad Appalshop was a part of this experience!

  2. The Appalshop was interesting because we were able to see how communication/broadcasting can be used at the local level to effect social change. The most moving was the information on the state penitentiary system and the brokering of human prisoners. I find the need to research this more on my own from a human rights perspective.

  3. Just another quick note...

    While in Whitesburg, we went to the Underground Gallery (I think that was the name) and I met some really cool people.

    An artist (Mr. Swiney) showed me the little room where some of his drawings were. He shared with me his story of being a coal miner for a little bit and showed me a few pictures of working in the mines. Mr. Swiney gave me his contact information in case some of you were interested in his art. You can email him at ryswiney@yahoo.com.

    After talking with Mr. Swiney, Mr. Chris Day (who opened the gallery for us) also spoke with me a little bit...mostly about how he didn't have any artwork from Wisconsin. He talked about getting artwork from many other places (including Serbia!) but no Wisconsin art. So, if any of you are interested (UWEC art students!!!), you should contact Mr. Day about sending in your art to the Underground Gallery. His website is www.chrisdayart.com and his email is chrisday@chrisdayart.com.

    Maybe if I get the chance to come back to this gallery, I'll see some Wisconsin art displayed! :)