UK DailyMail: Could you live on a ‘shantyboat’? Artist calls this tiny homemade floating shack home as he journeys around the Tennessee River

UK DailyMail
by Liam Quinn

A homemade ‘shanty boat’ is currently floating down the Tennessee River through Alabama to remind Americans of their ‘forgotten history’.

The boat, which is made entirely from cast-off materials found at the dump or reclaimed from other places, is being captained by Californian artist Wes Modes – who is traveling the river to hear and then share stories of people who live along the water’s edge.

The artist started his voyage aboard the 1940s-styled ship in Knoxville before crossing over into Alabama last week, according to Alabama.com.

He said the goal of the project is to speak to people whose voices are often absent from the history books.

‘I’m really interested to talk to people who don’t represent the mainstream cultural story,’ Modes told Alabama.com.

‘Rivers are more gentrified than they have ever been. Rivers become white and increasingly monied, and that means the river communities that contained a more diverse population – poor people, people of color, native people – those stories are lost.’

Modes’ 2016 journey will come to an end when the boat and its crew reach Paducah, Kentucky – where the Tennessee River meets the Ohio River.

The crew of people on-board with Modes for his 2016 expedition are: Jeremiah Daniels, Lauren Benz, Cara, McClendon, Adrian Nankivell, Penske Pocketknife, and Hazel the dog.

Modes took his boat on a similar trip last year, floating down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to St. Louis.

A homemade 'shanty boat' is currently floating down the Tennessee River through Alabama to remind Americans of their 'forgotten history'

A homemade ‘shanty boat’ is currently floating down the Tennessee River through Alabama to remind Americans of their ‘forgotten history’

Californian artist Wes Modes is taking his boat from Knoxville, through Alabama, before arriving in Paducah, Kentucky, at the end of the trip

Californian artist Wes Modes is taking his boat from Knoxville, through Alabama, before arriving in Paducah, Kentucky, at the end of the trip

The boat, pictured on the bank of the river, is made entirely from cast-off materials found at the dump or reclaimed from other places

The boat, pictured on the bank of the river, is made entirely from cast-off materials found at the dump or reclaimed from other places

Wes Modes said the goal of his expedition down the Tennessee River is to hear and then share stories of people who live along the water's edge

Wes Modes said the goal of his expedition down the Tennessee River is to hear and then share stories of people who live along the water’s edge

'I'm really interested to talk to people who don't represent the mainstream cultural story,' Modes said when asked about the voyage

‘I’m really interested to talk to people who don’t represent the mainstream cultural story,’ Modes said when asked about the voyage

A panoramic picture taken inside the boat shows the amenities on-board - including a small stove kitchen, a sink, a table, and an old leather couch

A panoramic picture taken inside the boat shows the amenities on-board – including a small stove kitchen, a sink, a table, and an old leather couch

'Rivers are more gentrified than they have ever been,' Modes said. 'Rivers become white and increasingly monied, and that means the river communities that contained a more diverse population - poor people, people of color, native people - those stories are lost'

‘Rivers are more gentrified than they have ever been,’ Modes said. ‘Rivers become white and increasingly monied, and that means the river communities that contained a more diverse population – poor people, people of color, native people – those stories are lost’

The shanty boat has a small stove on-board that serves as the kitchen for the entire crew making the trip from Tennessee to Kentucky

The shanty boat has a small stove on-board that serves as the kitchen for the entire crew making the trip from Tennessee to Kentucky

The crew of people on-board with Modes for his 2016 expedition are: Jeremiah Daniels, Lauren Benz, Adrian Nankivell, Penske Pocketknife, and Hazel the dog

The crew of people on-board with Modes for his 2016 expedition are: Jeremiah Daniels, Lauren Benz, Adrian Nankivell, Penske Pocketknife, and Hazel the dog

Wes Modes designed his shanty boat in the style of those that many people used to travel along the rivers in the 1940s

Wes Modes designed his shanty boat in the style of those that many people used to travel along the rivers in the 1940s

Modes took his boat on a similar trip last year, floating down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to St. Louis

Modes took his boat on a similar trip last year, floating down the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to St. Louis.

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