Driftless: Stories from Iowa

Driftless: Stories from Iowa

The tension of contemporary rural life plays out in these bleak snapshots of people's lives in the American Midwest. (MediaStorm)

A shift in the nation’s economy has pushed the youth of rural communities to migrate to the metropolises of America. Those left in the wake of this out-migration continue their lives, seemingly unchanged from the generations that preceded them.

Iowa native Danny Wilcox Frazier spent years photographing the lives of rural residents for his 2007 book “Driftless: Photographs from Iowa.” His striking black-and-white images capture a changing Midwest.

This MediaStorm project is a collection of videos about the lives of some of the people in Frazier’s photographs. Presented in black-and-white, the project is thematically divided into six parts, each taking a close look at some aspect of the transformation of rural Iowa, and the people affected by it.

The project tells the stories of older generations struggling to maintain family farms, of young people with little to do, of the state’s changing demographics due to the large influx of migrant laborers, and the plight of a man who has resignedly worked for 50 years as a country butcher.

CHANNEL: MediaStorm

Photography: Danny Wilcox Frazier
Director: Danny Wilcox Frazier
Producer: Eric Maierson
Executive Producer: Brian Storm
Cinematography: Taylor Gentry
Original Music: Ben Schmidt
Audio: Chris Vanderwall
Additional Audio: John Richard
Graphics: Tim Klimowicz
Transcription: Jessica Stuart
Production Assistance: Tim Hussin
Additional camera: Danny Wilcox Frazier and Aaron Preusch
Interns: Lindsey Walters and Robin Svec