Cavaliers by Tammy Mercure

Issue 54

"The South is what we started out with in this bizarre, slightly troubling, basically wonderful country—fun, danger, friendliness, energy, enthusiasm, and brave, crazy, tough people." —Bill Maxwell, "There's no place like the South"

Since 2008, I have been photographing events in the Southeast United States. They have ranged from NASCAR races with 160,000 attendees to a group of 20 people recreating the stations of the cross. These gatherings seem to show this area's collective love of history and the land and their fierce independent spirit.

Some of the events I go to involve guns. At The World's Largest Machine Gun shoot (here) they are the star of the show. Attendees can fire an assortment of weapons and the night shoot, complete with tracers and Miniguns, is legendary. Often at events, the guns help complete a character transformation to a specific time period, like the Civil War.

The loud noise, and sometimes impressive amounts of smoke, help put everyone- participants and spectators alike- in the moment. The visceral experience of being close to heat of a flame thrower or walking down the path of destruction looking at blasted cars and appliances is a moment of vividness in an increasingly passive world.

Tammy Mercure lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.
To view more of Tammy's work, please visit her website.

You can purchase Untitled (Cowboy) from Fraction Editions.