For more information on this project, head to the project website.
Lucky's store is the center of activity on Main street in East Macon, Georgia, which was once lined with thriving businesses, including a hardware store, grocery store and two movie theaters, serving the mostly white workers of the nearby Bibb Cotton Mill. If you hang out at Lucky's for a few hours, you'll be present to a whole cross-section of this now black, mostly blighted and, until recently, ignored and avoided neighborhood, owing to the fact that it is the one remaining business on the street. But East Macon stands on the cusp of redevelopment, with old mill houses being fixed up by local organizations and non-profits, in service of a soon-to-be-unveiled 'artist's village' that has both thoughtful skeptics and sincere supporters in Macon.
With the help of my friend, collaborator and eastside resident Charvis Harrell, I started hanging out and taking polaroids with people who passed by. The exchange went like this: I approach a person or group and ask if they want their photo taken. They pose however they want, and two minutes later they have a polaroid print in their hands to take home. This particular polaroid film also produces a functional film negative, which I processed later at home using bleach and scanned into the computer. My interest is in the performances, conversations, and shared discovery prompted by the magic of photo-making.
In making these pictures, I wanted to uplift the people of East Macon who I've grown to admire so much. Props to you, Eastside. Much love!
From "The Heart of East Macon", 2017
Photos by Nik Nerburn
Filmed by Dustin Chambers
Music by Ill Kalil Reynolds (soundcloud.com/kalil-reynolds)
Thanks to Charvis Harrell and the Macon Arts Alliance