The Color of Hay: The Peasants of Maramures, published in Hong Kong, will arrive to the US around March 14. At the turn of the millennium, for a year of days beginning in the autumn of 1999, Kathleen and Henry lived in a remote village, in the Maramures region of northern Transylvania, Romania. This region is unique amongst the former Soviet Bloc for the way it has preserved its way of life. After World War II, for forty years of communist rule, a few valleys in Maramures escaped collectivized farming because of poor soil and hilly landscape. In the post cold-war period, preservation continued because of pervasive impoverishment which slows the advancement of modernity into the reaches of northern Transylvania.
But nothing will stand still forever. While the older generation still don winter footwear that pre-date the Romans, the younger generation flock to market to buy shoes bearing that ubiquitous swoosh of western manufacture.
About the Photographer: An internationally exhibited photographer, Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin was awarded a number of grants for her work in Romania, including a Fulbright Senior Scholarship, an IREX IARO Grant (National Endowment for the Humanities) and a Houston Center for Photography Fellowship. Her images have appeared in LensWork, Rangefinder, B&W Magazine, Black + White Photography (UK) and The Times Saturday Magazine (UK). Her photographs have been show in the US and abroad and are in the permanent collections at the Museum of Photographic Art (San Diego) and the Art Museum of Western Virginia. Kathleen received her MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has been a freelance photographer and photo educator for 10 years.
About the Author: In addition to his work as a writer, H. Woods McLaughlin’s background includes stints as an organic farmer, computer programmer and hang gliding pilot – as well as Kathleen’s photography assistant.
He also boasts an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Swarthmore College and a Masters of Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. H. Woods is now owner and operator of Vector Studios, which is dedicated to producing computer animated films using Machinima technology.