Starting out as a photography series documenting the industrial pollution of the Ogeechee river, Stephen Milner’s project eventually evolved into an essay about the social, political and natural environment of one of Georgia’s most important resources.
“My photographic approach focuses on the unpredictability of the natural world and its effect on the human spirit.” Milner went to Georgia, United States to capture the life along the Ogeechee River. With hundreds of thousands of Georgians living along it, the river is one of the most important resources in the region. In May 2011, the Georgian community faced the largest fishing-related disaster in its history, with over 40,000 fish dead. The pollution was caused by illegal activities of King American Finishing, a textile processor in Screen County. However, after a few years and a long legal battle with the company, the situation has become brighter for the river community. With an almost poetic sensivity, Milner captures the moment of Georgia’s history when the future of its community seems hopeful, yet the lingering fear of pollution and potential health risks still looms. The photographer describes: “My photographic approach focuses on the unpredictability of the natural world and its effect on the human spirit.”