The North Wind and the Sun
2011 - ongoing
In The North Wind and the Sun I trace my family’s chicken farming history up to the selling of my Grandfather’s farmland. This exploration maps the ongoing sociopolitical conflict of my rural hometown of Siler City, North Carolina. I weave personal narrative with the current conditions of global capitalism in an attempt to confront kinship and tradition with morals and political strife. The title references Aesop’s fable, which teaches the superiority of persuasion over force.
Siler City thinks it’s white, but it is actually 50% Latino, and 20% black. It was nearly bankrupted by Ukrainian billionaire, Oleg Bakhmatyuk and the poultry industry (its last factory, a chicken plant, was closed there in 2012). Two hundred farmers went bankrupt, and 1200 people, mostly Latino line workers, lost their jobs. Police drivers license check points increased, targeting Latinos and policing an invisible border in the heartland of North Carolina. What Siler City fears most is change. But change has already come.
This personally risky and socially complicated exploration documents and also intervenes in a tangled narrative. The project manifests in various interrelated media, including: photographs of the now empty chicken houses, a large-scale wall map of research, a live monologue performance and video titled No place like home, a collection of letters to Oleg Bakhmatyuk and to Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, David Duke, as well as a handmade project book.