Southern fried

by Steve Watson in June 2010
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Described as “an off-kilter video journey through the side roads, backrooms, cellars and psyche of the modern South”, the Oxford American’s SoLost series of videos offers a fantastic glimpse into southern American life.

Like the magazine itself, it documents life in the southern states but it also mythologises it, giving a strange sense that everyone involved is in on the joke. Whether they’re good ol’ boys sitting at the bar or the black ladies after their pork chops and corn bread from Weaver D’s, everyone seems to be living normal life through a filter.

It could just be that people are playing up for the camera (and in the outtakes we see that there’s definitely a bit of that going on) but the magazine delivers the same sense through its poetry, short stories and photography. The American South has a wealth of these mythologies to play up to, but it feels like there should be other regional magazines out there doing a similar thing. Any suggestions?

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