Demarcation was the start of a project that got me thinking about climate change not only from a global perspective but also a human perspective. The idea started out as a personal examination of the subject. For me it represented a change in my own consciousness, shifting from seeing development, industrialism, and globalization through the lens of economic progress, to a socially aware state, questioning the cost of this progress to the individuals, and perhaps not surprisingly, those who benefit from this progress the least. An early subject of study in the project is the low lying coastal regions of Louisiana. This southernmost region was devastated most recently by hurricane Isaac in 2012, and even more so by Katrina in 2004.
This image, titled The Wall, was one of the earliest ones I took in the project. It is a section of the old levee system that had failed to allow the city of New Orleans to be overcome by the storm surge brought on by Katrina. For me, the levee represents a socio-political failure as much as a physical one. Arguably the socio-political stance of reckless industrialism and globalism, are the driving forces behind climate change, manifesting physically as Katrina. The levee as a protective system failed, just as the prevailing socio-political climate failed to acknowledge the recklessness of their policies. The levee system was highly criticized for a flaw in its design that created cascading failures along the system. Arguably, I pose the question, whether the levee system was flawed or instead one of economic expediency, was it a design oversight or was it a choice of cost savings.
While the issue is a global one, I am also addressing the issues locally, photographically represented in The Wall. The United States, while a significant influence on the issue, is not the only one. Certainly the problem exists on a global scale. Originating across the globe, hurricane Isaac traveled nearly halfway around the world before striking Louisiana. In this way, climate change and mankind’s contribution to the problem as a global issue is represented symbolically by hurricane Isaac as well as physically as a manifestation of global warming, the effects of which are discussed globally but tragically, felt locally.