Faces of mountaintop removal


I was driving past the ol’ Landmark Hotel this week and noticed some striking faces peering back at me from the green wall that surrounds the site.

Approaching on foot to take a closer look, I learned that these portraits (about 20 of them, I’d guess) are on display as part of a much larger, and quite far-reaching, cross-genre art project called The Unearthing. Each of the people on the wall is an activist opposed to mountaintop removal mining (MTR).

They’ve been posted as part of the Inside Out initiative, where people are encouraged to make portraits and post them in public places.

The Unearthing, meanwhile, is a multi-art-form, multinational project involving dance, installation, Mexican collaborators, and a bunch of obviously extremely creative people.

I’m not totally clear on what the connection is between these photos and The Unearthing, but I’m excited to know about both. Among other topics, The Unearthing is concerned with ideas about energy, and it’s great to see mountaintop removal, to name one particularly galling energy-related issue, put forward so prominently. Part of the promise of the project is to raise money for anti-MTR groups in Virginia and West Virginia.

Performances will be happening in the first couple weeks of February. Looks like it’s not to be missed.