Eric Dusenbery

Photographer, Author, Speaker

Sidetracked: Travels Across the Undiscovered South  

A documentary project to produce a new body of work by traveling through the rural and small town South.

While the definition of “rural” and “small town” may seem obvious, this documentary project is refocusing what they mean through the words and imagery of those who live it and new places discovered. This is not another look at the small towns of the South espoused in guidebooks — but, rather, a body of work that dives beneath the surface giving the South it’s unique character.

Emphasizing the traditions of documentary photography as a way of seeing and interpreting cultural life, the project fieldwork is accomplished primarily through the lens of large-format, black-and-white hand-printed silver gelatin film photography in a style reminiscent of legendary documentary photographers Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee and Walker Evans.

The project collects content through still photography and story-listening (oral history) and relies heavily on first-person narratives. This project is not an attempt to present a comprehensive look at rural populations— but to share a different angle than the normal narrative and shed light on things not usually reported. The focus is on local, ordinary people to find out their perspectives. In addition to an examination of topics such as early home life, family traditions, folklore, local history, community life, and occupational skills, the project will address larger issues including cultural identity, heritage tourism, aging populations, foodways and socioeconomic topics. 

“evocative...”   Daytona Beach News-Journal

 “...the authentic, the real Florida.”   Citrus County Chronicle

“There has been a positive buzz around town from your stories and photos. I love the warm-hearted response. You have proven that you are trusted and the people that you have interviewed were really pleased with the way it all turned out.”

Kathy Smyth, City Council, City of Luverne, Alabama

"I always love meeting people who share a longing for knowing about the past and learning from it. Meeting Eric and sharing our desire to restore the Historical Poplar Ridge School, in New Hope, Al. has been a real joy. And...then to be able to see his take on it all through his photography, is even more special. We the Friends of Poplar Ridge School want to thank you Eric for including us in your "travels".

Priscilla Scott, New Hope, Alabama

Sidetracked  is proud to be associated with the following project partners. For information on opportunities, please contact 

Sidetracked: Travels Across the Undiscovered South

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