Five years into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans' citizens are still affected by the extensive damage and rehabilitation the city has undergone. This month, Rhodes College's Environmental Studies and Science Program, in partnership with the Memphis College of Art, the University of Memphis' Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, has brought a group of scholars and creative types to Memphis for "Telling Katrina's Stories: Interpreting Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later."
The program kicks off on Saturday, September 18th, at 2 p.m., at the Brooks with a screening of Wade in the Water, Children (pictured at right), a film put together by a group of kids in New Orleans' Central City neighborhood through the local YMCA's documentary film class. With open guidelines for the footage they shot, the children responded in remarkable and intensely personal ways. The result is an honest and unexpected portrayal of post-Katrina New Orleans, one that reveals the everyday tragedies in the city long before the hurricane struck.
Rounding out the series are three lectures from varied standpoints, all to be held at Rhodes' Blount Auditorium. On Monday, September 20th, at 7 p.m., Aric Mayer, an acclaimed photographer who put on a commemorative exhibition at New Orleans' Gallery Bienvenu in 2006, will reflect on the experience of photographing such a disaster and the limits of documentary as a form. George Mason University's Virgil Henry Storr will follow on Wednesday, September 22nd, at 7 p.m., with a discussion of the state of redevelopment and recovery five years after the fact. And on Monday, September 27th, at 7 p.m., Jarvis DeBerry, who's worked with New Orleans' Times-Picayune newspaper since 1997, will speak about those fiercely loyal residents who've circumvented what could have become a permanent displacement of the city's population.
"Telling Katrina's Stories: Interpreting Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later," September 18th-27th. Visit rhodes.edu/ess and click on "News & Events" for more information and a full schedule.