I began to make pictures at a point when the residents of Treece had just been told that the government would fund a buyout to help them escape from living on unstable land. Looking at my lens, their eyes express the hesitation, fear, and, for some, excitement about the future. As time passed, and they packed up their belongings, sadness seemed to overcome many of them. And as I photographed the demolition of city hall just one day after watching the city water tower topple to the ground, I witnessed the once-lush landscape transform into a place that seemed barren and dry.—Dina Kantor
Brooklyn-based photographer Dina Kantor has been observing dramatic changes in both life and landscape in Treece, Kansas since the summer of 2010. Over the past two years, this former mining town officially closed down, its residents relocating elsewhere. Interested in how the town’s sense of community is adapting as the people of Treece leave their homes, Kantor’s photographs serve as an archive of the community—a document of its transformation—and an investigation into the environmental and economic impact of past practices on both individuals and the landscape.
Feature Shoot Contributing Editor Julia Sabot is the Associate Photo Editor at Dwell.