“The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. Out of its bold struggles, economic and social reform gave birth to unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, government relief for the destitute and, above all, new wage levels that meant not mere survival but a tolerable life. The captains of industry did not lead this transformation; they resisted it until they were overcome. When in the thirties the wave of union organization crested over the nation, it carried to secure shores not only itself but the whole society.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Citizens of Industry is a long-term documentary piece chronicling the working class culture of labor’s past, present and future. Created by social documentary photographer Andy Prisbylla, the project utilizes various multimedia to tell the stories of working class people and the landscapes in which they inhabit. The project seeks to explore labor in all its capacities: from the individual worker to the nature of work itself.
It is the mission of Citizens of Industry to preserve the importance of working peoples’ lives along with their extraordinary stories and educational experiences. It is this common bond of creative and intelligent human beings who have inspired the process for real social change, and it is the hope of this project to further examine the individuals, issues, history and culture that have influenced others to do the same.
Please enjoy the stories and images that will be posted regularly on this website, and drop a line as this project continues to evolve.