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:
Abandoned Picher: The Most Toxic Town in America
Abandoned Kansas City
Abandoned Kansas City: Forgotten Brought to Light
You can find more of her photos online on Instagram and on Facebook.
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.
Follow the show at decaypodcast.wordpress.com or Instagram.