Upror Media

building connections by documenting the world.

Going Deep

Once on board, Williams worked for 30 days straight, never leaving the boat. Then he took 15 days off. ‘That’s your life right there,’ he said. ‘You live out there more than you do at home.’
barges Sugar and Rice.jpg

For a moment my heart raced. But we paddled hard, crossing to the far bank before the tugboats arrived. Even after they passed, the river churned; our canoe, slicing through massive waves, spent dizzying half-seconds in the air before crashing to the water again.

Sugar & Rice, a journal focused on art and stories of Gulf coast food, invited us to pitch story ideas for their forthcoming “Scale” issue. Given that we call the Mississippi Delta our home, we realized nothing spoke to the scale of the Gulf more than the Mississippi River—which, after all, created the coast of Louisiana over thousands of years.

To produce this story, we divided and conquered: Rory compiled photography of the river (and its barges) taken by water and by air. Boyce, meanwhile, turned to the stories of the river, from Twain to Walker Percy to a retired tugboat captain (and, for good measure, a college calculus book). The resulting story captures America’s big river in all its wily essence.

Forthcoming, fall/winter 2015.

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