A little double-dipping once again from that other place I often frequent (and help manage) means lucky listeners get to hear my chat with photojournalist Seph Lawless about his upcoming book Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation, which details the sorry state of those once-popular destinations of American excess, i.e. the shopping mall.
Few markers of the collapse of American economic security are as immediately striking as seeing these once-thriving structures fall into disrepair and total abandonment, all of which Seph captures with alarming accuracy in his photos. Called an ‘urban explorer’ by some, he braves these dirty, dingy, and disgusting relics so you don’t have to.
But can the state of the American economy, or even the American Dream, be determined by seeing how its monuments to social gathering and spending are treated? Possibility, but Seph feels there’s more to the story than simply watching these enclaves rot before they’re inevitably destroyed.
Also talked about are a journalist of any stripe can function anonymously, especially when the presented material heavily depends on social media and sharing. Does Seph share my assertion that his work capturing abandoned malls has a slight apocalyptic bent, the kind of which zombie nightmares are fueled?
Most surprising, hear how fierce advocacy of ‘Rust Belt Politics’ helped make him an unlikely ally (of sorts) with none other than President Donald Trump. Hey, stranger things have happened!
Seph Lawless is also quite the controversial figure, having drawn speculation regarding his diligence when ‘reporting’ the state of the subjects he photographs. Never one to let things go, I grill him on these discrepancies, and you’ll have to decide if his answers hold water.
For more of Autopsy of America: The Death of a Nation or to even order a copy of the book right away check out Seph’s official website right HERE!
Managing editor (Popzara), frequent radio guest/producer, enemy of stupidity, all-purpose survivor.