Sunday, July 02, 2006

Katrina Stories in Mississippi

Angel and cross found in the rubble of #817 along the Gulf Coast highway.

Home again and contemplating the meaning of this experience. Puppet-making workshops among the displaced from hurricane Katrina may seem like a frivolous activity... Hard to justify and yet it is the thing I do. As an artist I feel an obligation to do what I can to create light, to help others and myself remember that we are resilient.
I love watching and hearing the emergence of heroic stories filled with characters created with bread and glue or even paper.

But first the hurricaine. Every story that Susan Anand and I heard initially was about Katrina, about leaving New Orleans, being displaced, feeling like an unwelcome outsider in a new city, fighting with insurance brokers, losing work, losing family, and losing everything they had come to identify with.

Gulfport, Mississippi. This tugboat was originally left hear by Camille.

Trailer City in Gulfport.

Empty beaches.

Rubble everywhere.

Devistation was overwhelming and now it is July and there's very little evidence of recovery from this hurricane that came through here in August of last year. I find this amazing. The towns were for the most part ghost towns with some functioning fast food restaurants and box stores.

So in my next few blogs I will explore what I learned about resilience while doing the workshops. Stay tuned.

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