Christopher LaMarca October 14, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.
Tags: United States
Garfield county, Western Colorado 2008
Christopher LaMarca (b. 1975, USA) studied Environmental Studies and Biology at the University of Oregon, a degree that led him to pursue photographic projects documenting environmental issues. His work on the protection of old growth forests against logging garnered him numerous awards, including PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers, PDN annual 2009 and NPPA’s Best of Photography. His Forest Defender project was featured in the 2006-2007 ICP triennial, Ecotopia; along with being published in both Aperture and Art Review. His first book Forest Defenders: The Confrontational Landscape, was recently published by PowerHouse Books.
About the Photograph:
Linda Allen and her husband take “old abandoned houses and give them love.” She’s lived in Garﬁeld County almost her entire life. Her Rulison home lies within several hundred yards of a gas well. “This has got to be one of the prettiest places that was ever put on the face of the Earth. I get up at five every morning because I love seeing the sun hit that mountain. I have bears that come down in the yard, wild turkeys and coyotes and elk, deer and foxes. We don’t have no pets; these are my pets.”
Linda Allen (continued): “This one well up behind the house always has been nasty. My neighbor told me there was a green fog above our house, so we got a little more concerned. I could see a river of oil flowing on the well site across the ground and dumping into the irrigation ditch, which will eventually lead to the Colorado River. Two years later, my mother-in-law, who used to live across the street, starting going through bouts of every cancer. She had a mastectomy for breast cancer, the year after that she had surgery for colon cancer, the year after that they told us there was no hope and then she passed. Dad died two weeks later. We’re such a little community, and I am being just over- whelmed with people telling me, “oh, I’ve got cancer, I’ve got cancer. I mean, it just seems to be running through. I’m very concerned because I don’t know what it’s doing to my grand- kids. They range in age from nine to three. I feel like we’ve sacrificed a lot. We sacrificed our water and our air; actually, we sacrificed our lives.”