most folks around here have heard of foxfire and their popular books, but if you aren't familiar with them, you should take a moment and learn about their work. based in the north georgia mountains, foxfire began in the 60's and now, 40 years later, holds a vast archive of oral histories, photographs, and knowledge of appalachian folkways, all gathered by local high school students.
foxfire began when a young teacher moved the area in the 1960's to teach in a local high school. he wanted to engage the students in something that really interested them, so after alot of brainstorming, the idea of producing a magazine was born; the teacher and his students went out in the community and interviewed local everyday people and made photographs of them. many of these interviews were bound in book form, but the magazine itself still exists today too. not only did the magazine help to preserve the traditions of the area, it also helped the students explore and learn about about their community.
i recently visited the foxfire museum in mountain city, georgia where over 20 buildings stand on a hillside; all were moved here to the site and put back together by the students, using traditional methods.
images of some of foxfire's subjects hang on a wall in the museum, alongside quotes from each subject:
words & photographs by rinne allen