Dakota Sumpter: States Project: Alabama
Today I am excited to share the work of Dakota Sumpter. Dakota is another artist that I came across during my time working as an editorial assistant for Aint-Bad Magazine. I was drawn to his work because we photograph similar subject matter, and I always find it interesting to see how different photographers are exploring the same ideas that I am. Though this project is just in its beginning stages, by its completion it will be a long-term survey of the Tuskegee National Forest. I’ve always had a lot of admiration for photographers who undertake long-term projects, especially in today’s fast-paced world, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing how the project progresses.
Dakota Sumpter is a photographer currently based out of Auburn, Alabama although he has lived in a range of locations across the Eastern United States, and into central Texas. Throughout his college career, he has studied Fine Art, Philosophy, and Photography. Dakota’s recent photographic work is primarily focused on humanity’s interaction with public lands. He currently attends Auburn University and is a Senior Photographer for The Auburn Plainsman, an award-winning collegiate newspaper.
Tuskegee National Forest
Tuskegee National Forest is a photographic-documentary project that responds to the constant flux the natural world undergoes: death, rebirth, and the ever-evolving process of life. This body of work is merely a beginning, or a first chapter, in an ongoing series exploring the boundaries of Tuskegee National Forest, and its immediate surrounding area.
An important aspect of this section of land is humanity’s interaction with the landscape. Previously one of the most abused pieces of land in Alabama’s history, Tuskegee National Forest has undergone an expansive rehabilitation program attempting to restore the land. From 1935 to 1938, the federal government purchased 10,358 acres during the Submarginal Land Program, which laid the foundations for the rebirth of the forest. Today, the forest is a multi-use place for recreation such as hiking, mountain biking, sport shooting, fishing, and managed timber harvesting.
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