Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comments on the Pictures from the Lower Ninth Ward

Concerning our photos shot in the Lower Ninth Ward a few days ago, a reader writes:
Hi. Thanks I guess. Without captions these photographs lack context within your experience, rendering whatever slight meaning you seem to be grasping for as nothing more than a wispy snapshot of anywhere, like that wall art of local scenes you can find in any Mall. This could be Detroit.
You can't simply take a picture of a ghost and call it a ghost.
This statement is so vacuous that I cannot comment on its lack of connection.
Yeah, it's 4 years since the levees broke.

I'd like to thank the reader for supplying a better caption and commentary than I ever could have.

I'm an outsider. An East Coaster. Spent two mornings in the Lower Ninth Ward shooting pictures because -- thinking four years was quite a long time to fix things up -- I was shocked at what I saw there. I think I posted our pictures in an attempt to show other outsiders what it looks like there right now.

Because, by and large, we don't know.

And many of us have allowed the whole thing to slip into history, as though it's over and done with.

So, I couldn't comment on the pictures. That wouldn't help anything. I'm just another outside voice. I understand that.

And so I'm very glad someone like this reader posted his or her own opinions.

I think that's the best a forum like this blog can provide: a place where expertise and opinion comes not from above, but rather through the digital community.

So thanks.

And just to illustrate just how 'outside' the reality of what happened there I am, I offer a bit of a conversation I had with a local who lost his roof. I expressed to him my dismay at having seen so many burned out cars remaining in the Lower Ninth Ward. To which he replied in an understated, but angry voice: "At least they got 'em out of the trees."

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