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Fumi Nagasaka, Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama (2023)
Fumi Nagasaka, Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama (2023)Photography Fumi Nagasaka

Fumi Nagasaka’s new book captures the beauty of small town America

The photographer is funding her project Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama on Kickstarter

Since moving to New York, Japanese-born photographer Fumi Nagasaka has spent the last two decades exploring the US with her camera. But it wasn’t until 2017 that she visited the rural or southern states when a friend Tanya invited her on a trip to her hometown of Dora, Alabama. 

With a population of around 2,300, Dora is a genuine small town. “Church, college football, and regional fast food chain Jack’s are popular with locals,” writes Nagasaka. “Tanya’s family introduced me to each of these during my first visit – an initiation of sorts.” 

Despite its modest scale, something about the place deeply moved Nagasaka. “My first trip was filled with emotion,” she recalls. “I witnessed kindness, pain, and humour, but most of all beauty. Beauty seemed to radiate from the landscapes and the people I met.” Over the following seven years, she returned many times, taking portraits of the town and the locals and creating an archive of images that are at once poignant and cinematic. 

Lauded for her documentary-style portraits chronicling American youth culture, Nagasaka now plans to present this series in a new book Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama (published by Gost Books) with the help of Kickstarter. The campaign offers its backers the chance to pre-order copies of the book alongside prints of selected images from among its beautifully-bound pages. 

Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama is a photographic record of the incredible experiences I had during my time spent in Walker County,” she writes in a press release accompanying the book. “The areas I visited and the individuals I met were unforgettable and hopefully the images in this book show the uninitiated a view of this region as seen by an impartial outsider who came to view the area as another home.”

Visit the gallery above for a closer look and find details about Nagasaka’s Kickster for Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama here.

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