Picher, Oklahoma, for those you who don’t know, is one of the world’s most notorious ghost towns. It’s a name uttered in the same breath as Centralia, Pennsylvania or Pripyat, Ukraine. It is a mining town, carved out by its principle industry – a superfund cleanup site with a population approaching zero, as of 2020.
Regina Daniel is an author, a photographer, and an urban explorer based in and around Kansas City. I’m a huge fan of her daring and inventive work. And I think the thing that I find most appealing about it is how she uses her photos as a window into a story. These aren’t just isolated images – Regina’s not just doing it for the likes. Especially in Abandoned Picher: The Most Toxic Town in America, her book on Picher, Oklahoma – she’s telling a story of a slow motion environmental catastrophe through her photography.
Regina is the author of:
For more on the environmental disaster unfolding in Picher, check out the fine 2007 documentary Tar Creek – featuring interviews and plenty of raw footage of disaster and ruin.