Only recently, a couple of gifted photographers started American Reportage, a collective devoted to telling tales about the American experience. Founded Kathleen Flynn, Justin Merriman, Brian Plonka, Jeff Swensen, by photographers Pete Marovich and Adria Malcolm, the Aim is for its members to produce stories of communities and people whose voices often go unheard.
We talked with two of the heritage musicians, Justin Merriman and PhotoShelter manhood Pete Marovich, regarding the inspiration behind the job.
[Feature Picture by Pete Marovich]
What prompted American Reportage?
Justin Merriman: I’m a product of this present climate in papers. Later 16 years working in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I took a buyout in September of 2016 as soon as the paper was producing drastic cuts and could shortly be cutting its own printing product and moving to all digital.
Soon after leaving the newspaper, Pete Marovich spoke to me about his idea for the collective. I jumped on board and was interested. Having spent a great part of my career working on jobs that were overseas, travel to other areas, and Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, I believed it was time for me to tell the tales in towns and my communities.
I’d always felt as though my abroad work wasn’t completed, partially because at some stage I needed to come home, leaving the narrative behind. Now, in the tales, I Reside within American Reportage. I understand these people and I know them, their customs, their habits, their concerns and cares. This is home to me.
Presently I am working on many jobs in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, such as stories on health care, coal mining, and the market.
Pete Marovich: The thought was stewing for quite some time. The tightening of magazine and paper funds, the number of areas to have work financed and the dearth of print spacestorytelling, was nagging at me.
I also believed, and the election was a prime case, that we as journalists were somewhat out of touch with America as a whole. So photographers appear to wish to go to operate, and again with all the of distance and book budgetsvisual storytelling regarding the issues are being underreported and voices are going unheard.
Since the collective develops, what is your expectation for it going ahead?
Justin Merriman: I am thrilled to become a part of American Reportage. I believe we have made something special and I am honored to be a part together with much more notably and these journalists people. We’ve got a good deal of thoughts for the future of this collective and jobs which we are going to work on as individuals and as a team.
My expectation with all American Reportage is exactly the exact same hope I have carried with me throughout my whole career behind the camera — to make people believe, to make people care, to respond, to question, to laugh, to cry, to smile — to really make a difference.
See American Reportage to remain updated with their tales. Additionally follow along on Instagram @americanreportage(**Twitter and) @amreportage. (****).