The Electric Dirt Collective is a network of individuals identifying at the intersections of:
Fag Hillbilly • Dirt Femme • Chocolate Spoonie • Latinx • Queer • Farm-Her • Two Spirit • Affrilachian • Swamp Diva • Muslim • Indigenous • Thaibilly • Faggot Farmer • Veteran • Black • Dirt Witch • Farm Femme • Granny Witch • Positive • Lesbian • Trans • Dreamers • Disabled • Dirt Goth • Transexual • Fat • Poor-Op • Dirt • Femme • Dyke • Farmer • Swamp Witch • Dirt Princess • Crip • White Trash/White Treasure • Undocumented • Nonbinary • Gender Fuck • Feral • Bi • Faerie
The Electric Dirt Collective is comprised of folks from different racial, socioeconomic, educational, and religious backgrounds. For far too long, depictions of these regions have been white-washed and have made invisible the communities of color that live and struggle alongside us. We acknowledge the necessity for our work to not emulate these patterns and seek that both the project and its prospective leadership accurately and appropriately reflect our diverse community.
It is a constant process and one we are committed to working on. We hope to continually listen, learn, and show up for each other as this project blooms. We encourage you to share ideas around how to structure our collective and form formal organizational roles in a way that subverts the culture of white supremacy that pervades our nation and uplifts the voices, opinions, and thoughts of folks often pushed to the margins.
Electric Dirt seeks to celebrate queer voices from Appalachia and the South. Our desire to claim our own labels, re-imagine our childhood myths, share our own stories, and create a better, safer world for all manifests itself in-between art and activism. The art we share and show is political; the way we show up and resist in spite of all that seeks to invalidate or erase our existence is art.
The concept of Queer Appalachia grew and evolved over the past year, a new name for the project materialized. As the group of contributors to this work expanded, we found ourselves no longer contained to just Appalachia, but the region of the South as well. These two areas, while having so many distinct differences, also contain many socio-cultural similarities, especially in regards to queer community. Whether in the coalfields of West Virginia or the forests of the long-leaf pine, the earth beneath us queers committed to collective liberation buzzes. We find ourselves both energized and grounded by that electric dirt.
The concept of Identity throughout Appalachia and the South is complex and nuanced. One person might identify as a hillbilly, while another person from the same community may be offended by that very label. We are all in the process of defining, refining, and reclaiming our identities. We welcome anyone to join us and get involved in this project.
In the spirit of collective liberation and a desire for fostering and strengthening community around us, we acknowledge that the regions we celebrate through the project have a history of QTBIPOC making art and organizing around our culture(s). We are inspired by their works and want to be mindful not to take limited resources from others in our community through our privilege. We are committed to giving half of the funds raised through our crowdsourcing campaign to QTBIPOC led projects and organizations working in the regions.
We believe that it is fundamental now that we share access to whatever resources we have: through our work, our projects, our social circles, our community, our bank accounts. We need to be able to share those resources and be open to restructuring oppressive systems that perpetuate systemic violence and oppression, especially the ones in our own lives. If we want the world to change, we have to be willing to change our own world.
It's our primary priority that this project is built on transparency and accountability. We are committed to having those hard conversations around privilege, race and community, we are committed to listening & learning from those conversations & dialogues.