By Eric Yang
on 12.1.10

In this edition of Project Kickstarter we go a bit off the beaten path to highlight photographer Dina Kantor who hopes to photo-document the town of Treece in southeast corner of Kansas. Population 140. The story of Treece is bleek. Treece and its neighboring city, Picher, OK were both once thriving hubs of ore mining during both World Wars. At their peak, the combined population of 20,000 were responsible for producing $20 billion worth of lead and zinc ore used in weapons manufacturing. But, time since the wars has not been friendly to Treece’s residents. Mine closures have left behind two generations of children (and grandchildren) behind who live in a city with poverty at twice that of the national average. Even worse, residents have 60% more lead in their bloodstream than average and the entire area surrounding Treece is part of an EPA superfund.

In 2009, President Obama signed a bill to buyout the contaminated town and relocate its residents, but the focus of Kantor’s project is documenting the history of the town’s remains before nothing is left but a ghost town. Kantor, a photographer, educator and resident of Brooklyn will use funding from the project to pay for the costs of travel, film, developing and printing. A project to help shed light on a forgotten town from America’s heartland that played a vital role in both World Wars. With the holidays upon us we can’t imagine a better thing for us to humbly pledge some money towards. Dina’s Kickstarter video pitch is right after the jump. Pledges start at $5.

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