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Grant number: TR-254137-17

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Southern Documentary Fund (Durham, NC 27702-3622)
Ashley Blair York (Project Director: August 2016 to present)

Appalachia in the Media

This documentary examines representations of Appalachia in the media as constructed over the past century. The film uncovers the origins of the American “hillbilly” archetype, explores the impact of these representations in Appalachia and beyond, reveals how this shape-shifting icon reflects the evolution of America’s aspirational self-image over the decades, and asks critical questions about our roles as journalists and storytellers in representing Appalachian communities and citizens. In addition, this story offers an urgent exploration of how we see and think about elements of poor, rural America that extends far beyond the region. This is a contemporary story about hope and how media can be used as a tool for change.

Project fields:
Film History and Criticism; Media Studies

Media Projects Production

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2017 – 1/31/2019