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
Queer Appalachia is an artist collective. Anyone is welcome at our table regardless of addiction status, mental health, socioeconomic status, identity, race or how "out" you are. When we use hashtags like #nooneisdisposable, it's not marketing or branding. We invite anyone to work along side us. 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 contributors 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. It is our intention that Queer Appalachia not add to the region's blooming nonprofit burden. Billions of dollars come into Appalachia in the form of grants and endowments to fund the work of nonprofits. Comparing the funding coming into the area and the services which are provided, the nonprofit structure which is supposed to serve the community can feel just as criminal as the coal industry. We are tired of seeing white people with masters degrees sitting around dry erase boards and calling it praxis.
Do you have a project or collaboration you want to work on with us? Can we help you with your research? Do you want to get involved? Everyone is welcome; send us an email.
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 that 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, 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.
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.