10.02.2012 in18:55 in Portraits -->
Nick Pironio (1982) is a fine art documentary photographer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Before working in North Carolina, he worked as a photographer at the Hanover Evening Sun, The Monroe Evening News and the Fayetteville Observer. After his time at the Observer, Nick had a short stint as the photographer for the John Edwards for President Campaign. Since then Nick has worked on projects such as documenting a developing denim company, Raleigh Denim and a series of Urban Chicken portraits.
“Urban Chickens” is a project I recently started, detailing the symbiotic dynamics of urban-dwelling chickens and their owners. The subculture of raising chickens in urban environments has intrigued me for a couple of years. My interest is in the exploration of the reasoning, benefits and downfalls that raising chickens has on different social classes. Thus far, I have documented 12 subjects that range from child to adult and from families to couples and singles.
Owners of these city chickens have different reasons for caring for these once farm-bound animals. Some want the eggs they produce. Some use them to till and fertilize the ground in hopes of using the soil for farming. While others use the chickens as a learning experience for their children. Whatever the need, there is a common seam — the love of chickens. This is a thread that is wrapped just as tightly around owners who use the chickens as work horses as those who use them as a developmental tool. Each owner, with chicken firmly in hand, says that the chickens, their chickens, are being treated better than they would if they were raised in a corporate farm.
These owners have given me better knowledge into the culture of “local.” It seems that as this world becomes more connected and the ability to travel vast distances is cut into shorter amounts of time, the desire to depend on the local economy, instead the global, grows. Hopefully the idea of raising chickens in urban environments breeds new ideas on how local economies should develop and sustain themselves.