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"I spent three heartbreaking days photographing what remains of Kayford Mountain and the once thriving towns that surround it. I listened to activists and spoke with local shopkeepers living in the shadow of the now flattened mountains in the Coal River Valley."

Olivia French

In March 2009, high school junior Olivia French made a fact-finding trip to southern West Virginia. She documented that journey in photos and words, augmented with extensive research on the environmental, historical, social and economic impact of the controversial method of coal mining known as "mountaintop removal."

A year later the Cogut Center was offered the opportunity to display the poster exhibit of that trip Olivia originally created for her high school. As part of our 2009-10 "Nature and Legacy" lecture series, we set aside the month of April to offer exhibit space in the lower level of Pembroke Hall.

For a copy of the exhibit poster, click here.