Katrina and The Flood, 5 years later: Floodwall

Floodwall exhibit detail at Louisiana State University, 2007. Image from the Floodwall.org Flickr photostream. How can you possibly imagine the destruction of an entire city? How do you imagine an event so impossibly large? How do you get past “the mind boggles”? Floodwall is an art installation, a “Wailing Wall” with an oral history component. The brainchild of Jana Napoli of New Orleans, Floodwall is a way to wrap your mind around the destruction of New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina and the Flood.

NOAA Satellite Image of Katrina on the Gulf Coast of the United States Her art installation is a collection of household drawers, scrounged from the post-flood detritus from cleaned out houses. When Napoli returned back to New Orleans after the flood, she was stunned by the silence of the empty city. “I saw these emptied out drawers and thought, ‘Each one of these is a household.’ I began to collect them.” On the back of each drawer, she wrote the address where she picked it up. She couldn’t stop collecting them.

NOAA image of flooded New Orleans. Only rooftops are visible above the waterline.

Napoli: “The problem is, where do you save—the first 50 were easy; they went out in the garage—where do you save 700 dresser drawers while they dry out and fall apart?”

Drawers arranged to resemble tombstones, at the exhibit in New York City, January 2007. Image by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid, How can a person imagine the immensity of ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on August 31, 2010 in • HistoryOral History Projects
(0) CommentsPermalink