The culture of the Mississippi Delta is a wealthy one. Just as its land has been a rich source for cotton and soybean, the people of the Delta have been ripe for stories, both written and visual. Whether it’s William Faulkner with a typewriter or William Eggleston with his camera, each artist has proven the Delta as an endless source of inspiration. It’s a place that has lured many a photographer.
But it’s a place filled with contradictions. As rich as it is for the creative artist, the existence of poverty, economic disparity and the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is not far behind. It makes it hard to idealize or demonize a place and its people. To know the place, you have to go deeper.
And that is what photographer, Magdalena Sole does in her book, New Delta Rising. It’s beautiful, stunning photographs provide an insightful view of the Delta, both good and bad. But most importantly, it allows the people in her images to tell their own stories in a collection of essays that compliments the photographs. If a book that reveal the soul of a place, this one is it.