Appalachian Coal Camps

Having documented the south Wales industrial valleys in great depth, in 1997 and 2002 Roger Tiley had the opportunity to visit the Appalachia region of The United States. He was invited to make photographs in former coal mining camps, situated primarily around the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

Tiley had some negative preconceptions about the area, but in reality the people he encountered were warm and friendly and welcomed him wherever he went. They were keen to learn about South Wales, especially as there were many parallels to be drawn between the Valleys and the Appalachian mining areas. The images Tiley wanted to produce were of people who were hard working and proud to be part of their community, where in many cases, coal mining had ceased and poverty was a daily fact of life.

As some young kids said to him, 'we are just hillbilly country folk, but that's the way we live'. The opportunity for them to secure well paid jobs in the mines was no longer an option.

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Appalachian Coal Camps

Roger Tiley

01 - 31 October
Hidi-Hazard-Kentucky