Waseca Minnesota is a town of 9400, about a 90 minute drive from Minneapolis. Surrounded by flat cornfields with grain bins dotting the horizon, it has a visual backdrop similar to that of Belmond, Iowa (the setting for Uprooted), except for one thing: Waseca is home to a Federal Correctional Institution for women.
In 2012, my cousin Erin from Belmond joined the ranks of it’s 700 inmates, having been convicted of drug possession with intent to deliver. She was released in 2015, and her story is one reason I felt compelled to work on Uprooted. It speaks profoundly of life behind the picket fence, of the struggle for a middle class life, of living out what we’ve learned in childhood.
It seems fitting then, that I should exhibit Uprooted in Waseca, as Erin’s story has parallels to my own. I too have felt the pressure of keeping up appearances, wrestled with chemical dependency and mental health, while grasping for new ways to relate.