The morning light was loud and the church roof radiated white. Inside, people and piano proclaimed, but outside I hummed my own tune.
Found Forgottonia is a project built of memories and stories through instant film and hint fiction.
Forgottonia is an area in Western Illinois that sits between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. It is remembered as the 51st state that never existed. Forgottonia tried to secede from the Union in 1971 due to the lack of attention received from the government in regard to transportation. It is a land of abandoned buildings, weathered warehouses, and dilapidated barns.
With this project, I am resurrecting Forgottonia. The film and fiction pair well to evoke faded memories. Though the subjects of the images are unnamed, coordinates are provided to encourage discovery and creation of new narratives.
Along with each picture is a piece of hint fiction (25 words or fewer) that provide a small peek, a glimpse that suggests a larger, more complex story, within a vast landscape of ideas and memories forgotten.
Found Forgottonia is a project created to memorialize where I came from and provide an interactive roadmap for others to engage in its beauty.
The cobbler yelled sizes at passersby below. Soon business was booming and the townspeople sought fortunes on the tissue paper stuffed in their shoes.
“This is where my parents met. Mom said it grows in beauty each year.”
“And your dad?”
“He thinks the city should tear it down.”
My brother named her Maude. Planned fishing trips, but never got her running.
Driving Maude to Troublesome Creek today, his ashes on the bench seat.
When she bought the sedan she envisioned road trips with friends, not a car seat and baby talk through the rear-view.
His eyes were broken out windows. He sat alone on the porch while others were inside, gathered around food, telling stories about her.
He got an erection. He tucked it underneath the waistband of his pants and stood still while people passed him.
“Worked my ass off for others to sit on thrones,” said Pops, as he cracked another beer. “Everything is shit now, son.”
Should’ve stayed on the bus. Driver wouldn’t have noticed. When the bell rings, I’ll crawl under the bleachers and remain unseen.
We used to climb to the top and contemplate the future until Adam slipped and met the concrete, the sound never forgotten.