Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA
This week, while sorting through my photos to choose some for an exhibit, I came across this photo that I took in 2012. I have never before shared it, spoke about it, posted it, or put it up anywhere, because I was never quite sure how to explain it, or how it made me feel. I took this photo in the Lower Ninth Ward, New Orleans, LA. I was driving cross country, and a dear friend and New Orleans resident took me on a full tour of the city. While there, I learned about the city’s rich history, culture, and met some amazing people. I was also shown the absolute destruction still left over from Hurricane Katrina, seven years after the fact. Seven. Years. As we travelled from the wealthy communities (mostly initially less damaged, or more quickly rebuilt) into the Lower Ninth Ward, it became immediately clear how deep the classism and racism ran in New Orleans. The poorest areas were the ones that had been the most damaged, were in the most need of attention, and yet had received the least aid. In the midst of a beautiful city full of wonderful people, there was (and is) enormous social injustice, and I was shocked. Above, is a photo of a house we passed, one of many, that was completely abandoned and destroyed. Many of the houses had been completely swept off of their foundations, leaving behind only a footprint. In the end, I did choose to include the photo in my exhibit, and chose to share it here, along with a few thoughts. As always, thanks for reading.