Photographer documents industry’s creeping effect on health of town

Frazier took this image by helicopter of industrial waste encroaching on a Braddock home.

Cambridge Day
November 12, 2017
by Marc Levy

Photographer and video artist LaToya Ruby Frazier spent a dozen years on a project documenting the effects of industry on Braddock, Pa., and its health, environment and people. But it was an easy investment of time to make; it’s her hometown.

In a town literally centered around a Carnegie steel mill, where socioeconomic power is just as literally arranged from top to bottom, Frazier and her family live in the neighborhood called “The Bottom.” From there, she has taken intimate shots of her family members as they live and die, and taken to the skies in a rented helicopter to capture the choking encroachment of new industry on people’s homes – including ominous shots of stark white barrels of waste stacked outside yard fencing like zombies outside a weakening barrier on “The Walking Dead.”

“Three hundred acres of sprawling industry are still expanding, block by block, taking over The Bottom,” Frazier told Wired’s Laura Mallonee in 2015. “And that’s dangerous, because the residents live next to that.”

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Courtesy of: Cambridge Day