Between the Bottomlands & the World

A project by Ryan Griffis & Sarah Ross for Regional Relationships.
Inspired by the scholarship of Faranak Miraftab.
Featuring a soundtrack by Mark Cooley.
Visual and audio assistance by Casey Puccini and M. Anthony Reimer.
Actors: Karen Alderidge, John Gray, Saren Nofs-Snyder, Yunuen Pardo, Mateo Smith, Eddie Torres

Between the Bottomlands & the World explores Beardstown, IL, a rural Midwestern town of 6000 people–a place of global exchange and international mobility, inscribed by post-NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) realities. It consists of a series of videos, photographs, exhibitions and narrative writing.

The video series tells a story of Beardstown in three acts.
Act One: Submerging Land, portrays a landscape massively engineered to redirect water for the production of commodity crops.
Act Two: Granular Space, is a meditation on the movement and scale of the international grain trade–from one seed to millions of bushels, moved from field, to elevator, to barge, to ocean going vessel.
Act Three: Moving Flesh, chronicles how and why so many people from around the world have come to Beardstown, a formerly all-white, Sundown town of 6000 people.