April 16, 2009
4 Years After Katrina
What's up everyone! Just got back from working/filming in New Orleans about 2 weeks ago and now getting into the grind of school. Being back from such an overwhelmingly emotional experience, I'm still going through that stage of withdrawal and I don't think I want to lose that feeling cause shit's still not right there. You'd think after 4 years, a whole entire community wouldn't look like this: I don't exaggerate whatsoever when I say that this place is literally a ghosttown. Walking up and down the block you may see 1-2 houses fully built and occupied. If you're lucky you'll be able to catch someone chillin' on the stoop. It reminded of post-war movies where someone would be walking around a place was that was just bombed and all you see/hear/feel is desolation. To try and put this in perspective, on the first day of physically and emotionally draining work, we head back up to our campsite and I receive a message from my mom asking for something as simple as when my graduation will be. Since then I haven't talked to her in awhile and just hearing her voice through the phone started bringing me to tears. I can't imagine coming back home, walking up to my front porch, looking up, and seeing absolutely nothing there. Then looking to my right and left and ALL my neighbors' houses are gone. I can't imagine not having my family, friends, and people that I consider a part of my home and community completely gone. EVERYTHING that shaped who you are as a person, gone. The fucked up part is that even after 4 years... FOUR YEARS, it still looks like the hurricane hit yesterday. Luckily for me, I was with a group of critical, hard-working, passionate, and reflective students. If it wasn't for the friendships I've built through them, this would've definitely been a lot harder to go through. One of the many feelings shared amongst us is the feeling of anger, frustration, sadness, and at times, feeling of helplessness at the social and political injustices suffered by this community. One of the things that was reiterated in the interviews I conducted with the residents was that they do not feel wanted by their local, state, and federal government. In order for these people to come back, they need infrastructures such as hospitals, schools, and security. During the week, I did not see any of these. How can people come back to a place they've invested so much history in when the local and state government aren't even giving them the necessary resources to live? My hopes and goals for this film is that it will spread to the masses and create more awareness around this issue and hopefully inspire and motivate people to try and urgently get involved with this issue (whether through putting pressure of the government or through volunteering). I'm gonna try and post up cuts of the film whenever I can onto the blog. But before I do that, I need to know how best to do that. So... Eric & Tad... any suggestions on how I should upload some video footage? -Chris G.