Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2024

Stokes County
Carly Shelton

Starting in the early 20th century, media began portraying Appalachians using negative stereotypes, often depicting them as ignorant backcountry people. These stereotypes led outsiders to unfairly judge these individuals based solely on where they call home. Consequently, coupled with the challenge of accessing certain areas, this has led to unequal access to essential resources. This is further exacerbated by corporations exploiting the land for its natural resources without remorse, therefore harming local communities and lives.

As time has progressed to the modern day, although the region has experienced growth, entrenched stereotypes persist alongside the ongoing scarcity of essential resources and corporate exploitation. Generational poverty, substance abuse, and inadequate healthcare represent just a few of the consequences stemming from this issue.

To a certain extent, there is an embrace of these stereotypes, while traditional Appalachian culture still perseveres. The superstitions, religious practices, and traditions have all endured the test of time. These things help create the cultural tapestry that is seen throughout Appalachia.

Stokes County serves as a curated collection of articles and data illuminating the shortcomings of public policies within the Appalachian region. These insights are thoughtfully juxtaposed with my personal narratives and experiences growing up in the region. Through the use of my personal photography I further show the truth within these articles and documents, which is the result of these disparities and the cultural institutions that serve as a backdrop. I hope to help make apparent both the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, of my previous home.

Sera Aksoy

Faye Arranz

Shravani Bagawde

Han Bao

Iryna Baran

Zein Bdeir

Victoria Beyrard

Anna Blyumenkrants

Tatiana Boccone

Megan Brill

Andrea Chang

Longcan (Hugo) Chao

Jolene Chen

Yu Tung Chen

Yuntong Chen

Loki Chow

Hong Jet Chua

Erin May Cochanco

Janet Delavan

Gayoung Do

Fang Dong

Julia Du

Manan Dua

Colin Elmer

Millie Faber

Siyao Fang

Noah Farjani

Hina Fernstrom

Leslie Fonseca

Sarahi Garcia

Amanda Guo

Charlotte Hailstone

Jieun Han

Mary Hatcher

Elliana Hau

William Hsu

Olivia Hu

Grace Huang

Jung Hwangbo

Krishika Jain

Yoo-Jin Jang

Janice Ji

Wenjie Ji

Eneya Joshua

Yung Ching (Aurora) Juang

Maya Kalinowski

Jasmine Kan

Nabeeha Khalid

Palakh Khetrapal

Jessie Kil

Hope Kim

Hye Yoon Kim

Jenny JaeMin Kim

Lindsay Kim

Aarya Kini

Claudia Kok

Vidhi Kontham

Themis Kung

Hoi Man Kwok

Katherine Lam

Camille Le Bars

Haylee Lee

Minjae Lee

Stacey Lee

Chenxiao Li

Vivian Liu

Sarah Ma

Rosie Mai

Kamryn McKenna

Haley Moore

Graeme Mounsey

Syrus Mow

Viviann Nguyen

ChloƩ Nini

Smitee Oberoi

Talita Ozkok

Surya Pande

Shruti Pathak

Kelly Peng

Aayushi Pitta

Zoey Poole

Kiara Putrilia

Anjali Raju

Rand Rivera

Virajini Sanghai

Sofia Santana Arrezola

Noor Selim

Anna Sham

Lakeisha Esthetique Sharonina

Carly Shelton

Mengqi Shen

Vanessa Shimon

Alex Vinicius Silva

Arjun Sivaprakasam Thamilarasan

Hajin Son

Yi Song

Alexander Soukakos

Aarya Srikumar

Hannah Suh

Yuka Tamura

Cynthia Huiwen Tan

Sidhya Tikku

Raquel Trevino

Sophie Tsang

Gianna Waldron

Haotian Wang

Yi Wang

Yichen Wang

Yingjie Wang

Victoria Winter

Sage Won

Sora Wong

Shiyao Wu

Tong Wu

Qian Xiang

Faith Xue

Tong Yu

Helen Zhang

Jinyi Zhang

Yixiao Zhao

Yufan Zhao

Haiyu Zhou

Yining Zhou

Feiya Zuo