Thursday, March 29, 2012

One Block

Throughout this section on New Orleans, the themes of community and rebuilding continue to reappear. Trouble in The Water showed how one community, specifically Kimberly Roberts’s community in the 9th ward, dealt with not only the Hurricane itself, but also the repercussions afterward. Similar to Treme, the book deals with the aftermath and the desire to have the community survive in spite of social/economic circumstances. While Trouble in the Water did this through a documentary style, One Block looks at similar issues with interviews, but mostly through pictures.

The book, One Block: A New Orleans Neighborhood Rebuilds shows the process of rebuilding through the lens of a single block on the lower 9th ward from 2006 to 2010. The photographer Dave Anderson “compassionate treatment of the neighborhood’s difficult circumstances has drawn comparisons to the work of Dorothea Lange and other Farm Security Administration–funded photographers.” He lived on the street with the people during the project and formed close personal relationships with them. Through his focus, he shows the resilience and dilemma of coming home for the New Orleans people that is echoed in the many other projects in this unit. He does this through personal portraits and through documenting the physical time-lapse of the rebuilding process, proving that the struggle still existed long after media coverage had ended.  The focus on individuals also echoes the personal narratives found in A.D. especially in regards to what possessions he chooses to focus on, such as a toy bus on the side of the road or pictures in a window. Below is Dave Anderson talking about the project and a link to the site. 

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