God Forged in Fire & Flood: Oral Histories of an Appalachian Geography

Robin Miniter

An exploration of Southern Appalachian land and faith in Hot Springs, N.C.


This installation is a part of Inside Voices: An Oral History Exhibition, showcasing multimedia projects and stories recorded by the 2016 cohort of Columbia University’s Oral History MA program. This event will take place at The Social Hall at Union Theological Seminary on April 27, 2017, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Come on in. Drinks on me. Cozy up to the bar and listen to voices from Hot Springs, N.C. Tucked into the Appalachian Mountains and formed by hills and holler, Hot Springs is intersected by the French Broad River and sits atop an ancient fault line. The community of 600 can trace their connection to the land back generations. With multiple church buildings holding vigil, the town is characterized by a tangible sense of Christian devotion. The new-comers ascribe this energy to something more metaphysical: lay lines, vortexes. What makes up the spirit of place? Can topography have soul?

Robin Miniter comes to OHMA with a B.A. from Marist College and is also a current student at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. As a Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Scholar, she took to the pitches with her cleats and camera, photodocumenting the rise of women’s rugby across India. As an aspiring radio producer, she is currently the Production Assistant for the podcasts Beginner and the Southern Foodways Alliance’s Gravy.