Tower exhibit revisits Hurricane Katrina
Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 13:09
The Telling Their Stories exhibit in Tower of Fine Arts, features numerous photographs taken during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and other affected cities. This overwhelming exhibit, portrays the pain and suffering felt by the survivors and highlight the destruction Katrina caused. They span, not only Katrina itself, but also the struggles of the aftermath.
The exhibit was brought to Brockport in order to supplement the freshmen summer reading book, A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld.
The graphic novel follows the story of seven main characters as they each battle Katrina in their own way. Readers follow the characters before, during and after Katrina as they try to make sense of the utter chaos their lives have been subjected to.
The Telling Their Stories exhibit houses some of the photos that appear in the graphic novel, allowing the viewer to connect the photographs to the story they have already read. However, the majority of the photographs are only related to the novel in their subject matter.
The photos show pain, loss, suffering, and helplessness. The exhibit features pieces like a close-up of a man with tears streaming down his face. Nothing else is visible and leaves the viewer questioning what the man is mourning.
Another depicts a scene where two dogs surround the corpse of a man.
Yet another focuses on three individuals, a woman and two men, as they attempt to move forward as powerful winds push them backward. The sense of helplessness against the wrath of nature affects the viewer.
Each of the photos is unique and allow everyone to walk away with a different take on them. When coupled with Neufeld’s graphic novel, a better understanding of the events that transpired during Katrina occurs.
The overwhelming emotion in each photo cannot be ignored. The viewer can empathize with the pain the photographs’ subjects must have felt. The photographs capture real people and the terrifying hardships they were forced to face, not only during the storm, but after.
Whether the photos were taken during the storm or after, their haunting truth still rises to the surface. These people were on the verge of death.
The Telling Their Stories exhibit will remain up until Oct 12. The experience of going through and taking the time to study each individual photograph has such an effect that everyone should go through at least once. While the subject matter may not be the most pleasant, it is honest; a reality that everyone should accept instead of trying to bury it under falsehoods.
Katrina was a destructive force that hit New Orleans and the lack of help provided for those affected needs to recognized by individuals. Hurricane Katrina is a part of contemporary history and should be acknowledged.