photo essay

Erik Sather

This photo essay marks places that were once central to people’s existence that now crumble in their absence. These ruins seem haunted with past activities and occupations. However, they also glimmer with potential. The Coliseum was the sign of Roman culture—everything about it emblematized the power of speech, the primacy of the fight, the art of persuasion; then it fell into disuse, eventually even for a time serving as a garbage dump. Now, however, it stands for a new Roman culture—tourism, antiquities, romantic idealism of a Republic before it became an Empire. Each of these ruins below speaks to the potential for re-use. These places have become or are in the process of becoming, even if only thanks to the act of being photographed, a significant part of someone's, or something’s, existence again.  —Erik Sather

Previously Gathered:
Wupatki Ruins—onetime home for a small tribe of Anasazi

Previously Seated:
Outside Orderville, Utah—a onetime communistic, polygamist community

Previously Curtained:
An abandoned house on the Navajo Reservation

Previously Wicked:
Jerome, Arizona—a notorious onetime copper mining town

Previously Citizen:
The Coliseum in Rome

Previously Fields:
Decommissioned John Deere tractor

Erik Sather is an Emmy-nominated photographer and producer who has published work in the Huffington Post, Poets and Writers, the Writer's Chronicle, among other places. He’s currently working on a film project with the writer Robin Hemley called “Roast Beef in Jews” about a Jewish festival in Krakow that few Jews attend.

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