Mountaintop to Moonscapes


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Photobook by Alan Gignoux

Appalachia is the poorest region of the United States, earning the region the nickname,” America’s Colony,” while the giant coal companies have earned the nickname, “King Coal.”

King Coal has extracted the coal by using some of the most ruthless methods in what has been called, “Capitalism’s Dark Side.” Today, the coal companies have found an even better way to extract the coal, just blow up the mountains without care for reclamation.

This book describes the socio-economic costs of mountain top removal.

“Received your book today. Thank you!
I’m blown away. Brilliant design, pace, and format.
Heavy, heavy work,” — photographer Roger May.

Design Choices

A companion to Oil Sands, Mountaintops to Moonscapes comprises a large-format book with slip-sleeve, hand-bound in multiple parts, and a booklet in which origami folding techniques are used to express the violence being done to the Appalachian landscape.

As with Oil Sands, the team chose a generous format for the larger book to perfectly show the huge landscapes Gignoux was documenting, along with the vast areas of land being destroyed. Photographs of leafy mountain towns soon give way to the industry of mountaintop removal mining. The book is bound in four parts, allowing the photos to overlap in different combinations, showing the complicated relationship between environmental issues and the local economy. The final image is one large photo showing the destruction left behind. The cover is printed on a textured card representing the tactile nature of the land.

A small booklet containing text-based information accompanies the larger book and includes a paper explosion that gives sculptural form to the mountaintop removal mining process.

Mountaintops to Moonscapes and Oil Sands together illustrate Gignoux Photos’ commitment to and willingness to experiment with, handmade printed formats.


Print run: 100
Size: 350 x 255mm
Binding: Handbound
Pages: 56 in the larger book plus small 12-page booklet (measuring 148x210mm) containing a large ‘exploding’ foldout page (measuring 300x300mm)
ISBN: 978-1-9999610-1-5





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