Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Breach: Left Behind. The research gets real! Part 3

In December when the Director of Lafayette Art Galleries and Art Collections, Michiko Okaya, provided me with some of Alison Saar's research and Michiko's own research that she was sharing with the Lafayette community, I questioned how I could insert myself into these stories. Alison's work was based heavily on the Mississippi Floods of 1927-28. Michiko had done additional research on flooding in Easton.

I've been obsessed with water, the ways we're interconnected with our environments, and sustainability, but these and natural disasters are huge topics to tackle. The very specific topics researched by Alison and Michiko are still very large and encompass a number of ways to approach them - economically, historically, psychologically, anthropologically, choreographic-ly, architecturally, socially, environmentally, politically, racially...

What struck me most was that so many people were left behind, seemingly forgotten, or never seen in the first place. Ironically (or maybe not) these types of social injustice are still very prevalent.

And in May, I did experience a dramatic and tragic flood, first hand. If you're reading this for the first time, I encourage you to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Reflection 3, May 2016:
We're all up late watching the news. More of the surrounding areas (a 15-60 mile radius) are being evacuated. The major dam has broken and is flooding the surrounding area. A large chunk of the major highway through this area is gone. The closest town is out of usable water and the next-closest town is a building-story under water. These are the places we visited yesterday to get groceries. These are the people at the stores who were super helpful when I was looking for a pair of jeans that fit; who saved gluten-free supplies for me because I had called a week in advance looking for help. Now, they were out of everything. Mr. Ted has a pantry of several emergency supplies that I never thought he'd need, including peanut butter and water. The six of us could live for a few days on peanut butter and clean water. In truth (as Mr. Ted says), it's starting to get "pretty western" here.

Sky shot over the center of town.
Reflection 4, May 2016:
Mr. Ted was up most of the night watching the water. I slept while he was watching the water rise and gathering supplies just in case we needed to move to higher ground. When I woke, he told me it was just outside of our door. He's taking a short nap today as the rest of us stay awake playing dominoes.

Although we’ve been stuck inside for most of the week, I’m quite enjoying the time to really talk, play dominoes and card games, and learn more about the histories and lives of my family.  

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