The old industrial heartland.
Once the industrial heartland of manufacturing in the US and largest industrial region in the world. Big steel, auto manufacturing and mining were the backbone of the area until the decline through the recession of the early 80's. The high cost of unionised labour and cheaper foreign imports impacted heavily. Factory closures left a still visible reminder of a lost era and a scar on the landscape that led to the regions unfortunate label.
The harsh, unrelenting cold of winter seems only to accentuate the departure of optimism. In fact many of the workers diversified and migrated to jobs in the south, which became known as the Sun Belt. The financial crash of 2008 has only exacerbated the problem.
A collection of photographs taken between 2004 to present day.