Roger May: Testify

By  |  February 28, 2013

Roger May's project Testify is a measured and honest documentation of Appalachia. His photographs tell a story in which family, industry, memory, erasure, and loss play equal parts. May writes:

My grandfather told me that I have two ears and one mouth, which means that I should listen twice as often as I speak. Through these images, I've tried to do just that — to listen more than I speak, both with my voice and my cameras. These images arise out of my pride of where I am from and where I am of, and an enduring love for Appalachia.This is my testimony.


Roger May is a North Carolina-based documentary photographer who works primarily in Appalachian Kentucky and West Virginia. He was born in the Tug River Valley, on the West Virginia and Kentucky state line, in the heart of Hatfield and McCoy country. He served in the U.S. Army for seven years and is currently enroleld in the Certificate in Documentary Arts program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, where he has also worked as a part-time instructor. You can read his blog, Walk your camera, here and view his portfolio here.

Jeff Rich is a photographer based in Iowa City. His work focuses on water issues ranging from recreation and sustainability to exploitation and abuse. Jeff currently teaches photography at the University of Iowa. He curates the OA’s weekly photo series, Eyes on the South.