I’m sitting on my front porch, surrounded by nature’s goodness: blue sky with wisps of clouds, birdsong and the whirr of cicadas, mid-70s temperatures, leaves rustling in a soft breeze. It’s almost impossible to imagine the violence of Katrina that was visited upon the Gulf Coast four years ago today.
A friend and neighbor of mine, David Rae Morris, lived in New Orleans at the time. Since then, he has devoted much of his work as a photojournalist to documenting Katrina and its aftermath.
All of his photos are powerful, but these scenes from the Lower Ninth Ward remind me of not just the devastation but also the role of official indifference in amplifying the suffering. Katrina more than a natural catastrophe, it was a colossal human failure as well. David’s photos serve as remembrance of a disaster whose human costs remain huge. They also sound a warning, lest we ever again allow such incompetence and callousness.
(I’m just linking to his work instead of posting an image or here, because a single photo doesn’t do it justice and I don’t want to take the images out of the context he gives them.)