The images in this book ask that we follow the quiet journey of Robert Leslie and his camera through a land where the notion of the unstoppable economy, a land of plenty, “American dream,” is brought into question. Is this moment in history a major setback or is this the beginning of the inevitable decline of an empire, as history has shown us time and again? Unlike the transience of television news and newspaper journalism, this collection of still imagery creates something greater that any individual image, they give us a marker that we can look back to as we edge farther into an uncertain future.

Stillness in the Eye Of The Storm : Edward Burtynsky

If the mid-west represents the heart of America, the South is its’ soul. Diverse, complex and layered in its’ past.
While financial institutions spent the last decade developing systems of leverage and excess, the urban fabric of America has slowly decoupled and begun to erode. This unnatural disaster of decay is as powerful as the great storms that come up the Gulf of Mexico every year. As one travels across the country you visit town after town where the once tight knit communities have been left to unravel. With a focus on efficiency and sky-piercing creations, the rural towns of the US have had to rely on their resilience and self-sufficiency as a means of survival.

The Unnatural Disaster of Decay : Cameron Sinclair

At the outset of 2009, the United States was on the brink of monumental change. For most of the previous two decades, I had focused on the documentation of the remnants of the world’s historic empires. I realized, upon returning from extensive shooting in China over 2007-2008, that over this long time frame, I had neglected to focus on today’s great empire, America.
I chose to explore the Sunbelt, the route controlling the pulse of America’s housing, immigration, agriculture and military sectors. Stretching the dramatic 8000-kilometer expanse between Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California, I set out to see what the idea of “change” was about across the region. Returning in late 2011, I visited the same roads, to observe the social, economic and environmental shifts that had occurred in the time since my last journey. The date my first trip began, January 20, 2009, the day of the inauguration of the President elect, Barack Obama.

Robert Leslie


Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing UK (ISBN: 978-1-907893-47-6)

Ebook content & direction : Chris Boot