Economic inequality in America is at the highest point since before the Stock Market Crash of 1929. As economies evolve, cities experience periods of economic restructuring. Greenville’s economy has shifted from being reliant on tobacco to relying on education and health care. While the community is progressing and meeting the needs of some, other groups are being marginalized and ignored. These economic and social changes are creating a trend towards gentrification.
Project Greenville focuses on the economic adjustments in Greenville, North Carolina. Greenville is home to a traditional Southern structure. Race and class distinctly separate the neighborhoods; the railroad is the traditional line of segregation where development is occurring along Dickinson Avenue. A once-bustling street is being revived for high-end boutiques and restaurants. The surrounding neighborhoods historically have poverty, low income, and substandard housing. The West Greenville Revitalization Plan strives to revive this area without accountability for displacement or cultural changes. With high poverty and advanced economic industries, a schism has occurred between meeting community needs and growth. This leaves room for echoing thoughts of gentrification. These images explore this community in its current state, as redevelopment and inequality approach.
This project is being explored by Epiphany Knedler, a visual artist based in Greenville, North Carolina. Knedler is currently a student at East Carolina University pursuing an MFA in Photography. She strives to shed light on contemporary economic disparity using images. You can see more of her work at www.epiphanyknedler.com.