A wide-eyed look into the past and present of what actually happens when Americans leave the rat race behind and try to get away from it all.
In Get Back Stay Back, Portland, Maine-based writer Joseph F. Conway sets out in search of the enduring dream of a better, simpler life in a place beyond the hustle and bustle of modern life. Tracing the evolution of the back-to-the-land movement from the late 1960s to today, he finds a new generation of farmers and homesteaders picking up where their parents left off.
The stories of 13 families in the pastures and backwoods of Maine play out in two acts—parents dropping out of society and into extreme self-sufficiency and experimentation, and their kids who are now leading the charge to see what sustainability, local food and organic agriculture can do for the communities into which they were born.
Some ideals unravel, others endure, and the movement continues to sort out its contentious legacy in the place where it all began. Get Back Stay Back: 2nd Generation Back-to-the-Landers presents 224 pages of essays and excerpts in a vibrant, visually engaging format punctuated with photographs by Portland photographer Mark Yaggie and images drawn from family archives. Published by the Publication Studio Portland (other) at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art in collaboration with Leisure Labor as part of a nation-wide public art project that reframes independent publishing within the context of traditional white wall gallery settings.