In a richly detailed, allegorical drawing overlaid on a map of the mid-Atlantic region, the vignettes of Water Ways tell the political, social, economic and ecological stories of the impact of the natural gas industry on the land and water. The stories depicted are based on events from the recent history of fracking, the politics behind the industry, and the various forms of resistance to it. The characters are played by animals: by employing the creatures most immediately dependent on the ecosystem to tell human tales, the drawings both play on our natural sympathy for story-telling animals, and irrevocably bind our stories with those of the other living creatures who share our land and water.
The process of creating this image started with interviewing and gathering the stories of many individuals who have been affected by fracking on various levels. Bri Barton and Meg Lemieur, the illustrators on this project, then synthesized these stories into visual metaphors and created this composition from that work.