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©Matt Black, Firebaugh, California, 1995

THE VALLEY
I live in California’s Central Valley, a rural, agricultural area in the heart of the state and started photography at my hometown newspaper. My work has focused on themes of geography, inequality, and the environment in my native region and in related places.

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©Matt Black, Allensworth, California, 2001

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©Matt Black, McFarland, California, 2010

Starting in 1995, I began photographing my home region in earnest, seeking to capture the marginalization and fortitude of communities throughout the Central Valley of California. Photo essays like City of Exiles, From Dust to Dust, Dessicated Dreams, After the Fall, The Lost Boys of California, The Dry Land, The Valley of Thirst, Droughtlandia, and I Don’t Think You Should Go to Work Today portray the hardships faced by many Valley residents as they worked to live in one of the greatest agricultural regions of the world, responsible for billions of dollars in output, but whose communities are marked by poverty, unemployment, and lack of health and education.

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©Matt Black, Corcoran, 2014

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©Matt Black, Teviston, California, 2001

Since 2015, I have travelled over 100,000 miles across 46 states for my project American Geography. Other works include The Dry Land, about the impact of drought on California’s agricultural communities, and The Monster in the Mountains, about the disappearance of 43 students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Both these projects, accompanied by short films, were published by The New Yorker.

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©Matt Black, Fresno, California, 2004