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Composing Local Knowledge Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write Home

Composing Local Knowledge

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Composing Local Knowledge. Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write Home. Composing Local Knowledge: Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write Home. How is place recreated through writing for Hurricane Katrina survivors? How is home, arguably the most local of all places, constituted in this work? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Page 1: Composing  Local Knowledge

Composing Local Knowledge

Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write Home

Page 2: Composing  Local Knowledge

Composing Local Knowledge: Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write

HomeHow is place recreated through writing for Hurricane

Katrina survivors? How is home, arguably the most local of all places, constituted in this work?

Expressing Home. Understanding Place.Writing, Place, and HealingKatrina Writings Categories on HomeConclusions and Implications

Page 3: Composing  Local Knowledge

How is place recreated through writing for Hurricane Katrina


How is home, arguably the most local of all places, constituted in

this work?

Page 4: Composing  Local Knowledge

“What can arts and humanities research bring to research on

watery landscapes, flood histories, and environmental

change?”-AHRC and Living Flood Histories

Page 5: Composing  Local Knowledge

Expressing Home and Understanding Place“…Place makes a poor abstraction.

Separated from its materializations, it has little meaning.”

- Clifford Geertz

Page 6: Composing  Local Knowledge

Anonymous HDMB contributor

Page 7: Composing  Local Knowledge

Writing, Place, and Healing“In the end, it seems to me, the acts of writing and of being placed are the same. To be placed

and to write place both require the distillations of experience into certain, specific details.”

-Jennifer Sinor

Page 8: Composing  Local Knowledge

“Place writing becomes, then, an ethical act. To belong to a place and to write about that connection mean that one more place might escape damage either because you become invested in saving that place or because you convince others to save it,” “Place writers are conservationists, then,

even when the places they write about are preserved only in memory”

-Anderson and MacCurdy

Page 9: Composing  Local Knowledge

Flooded New Orleans

Page 10: Composing  Local Knowledge

As we manipulate words on the page, as we articulate to ourselves and to others the

emotional truth of our pasts, we become agents for our own healing…

…and if those to whom we write receive what we have to say and respond to it as

we write and rewrite, we create a community that can accept, contest, gloss,

inform, invent, and help us discover, deepen, and change who we have become as a consequence of the trauma we have


Page 11: Composing  Local Knowledge

Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are the

prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order…

…and for the healing of individual victims.

- Judith Herman

Page 12: Composing  Local Knowledge

Rescue team marking New Orleanian home

Page 13: Composing  Local Knowledge

Trauma victims of course feel isolated by their experiences […] as they tell their stories they discover that others have been touched by

pain as well……commonality helps to ameliorate

the excruciating isolation that is a by-product of trauma.

- MacCurdy

Page 14: Composing  Local Knowledge

Anonymous HDMB contributor

Page 15: Composing  Local Knowledge

Katrina WritingMy mother's red van to the left, my stepdad's old silver truck in the back. Our mailbox, our plants, our door. Our memories. It's a perfect snapshot, freezing what we lost in time. I had lived there since I was three. I can go back as

many times as I want- and I do drive past frequently- but it won't ever be my home again.

- Julia Hemmings, HDMB contributor

Page 16: Composing  Local Knowledge

Michael Edwards, HDMB contributor

Page 17: Composing  Local Knowledge

Michael Edwards, HDMB contributor

Page 18: Composing  Local Knowledge

Furniture was scattered everywhere, mold was on everything, and water

line marks were on the walls……Everything I owned was ruined and

most of my things that held my childhood memories and other

memories were gone…this neighborhood once filled with voices

and people is now silenced and nothing but air surrounded me…

Page 19: Composing  Local Knowledge

Even though most people can't see the physical damage anymore from Hurricane Katrina, there is still the

emotional mark that people will always hold deep inside

because in one way or another, we were all affected.

-Anonymous HDMB contributor

Page 20: Composing  Local Knowledge

National Museum of American History (contact: Hugh Talman, photographer

Page 21: Composing  Local Knowledge

I needed to come home...to New Orleans…

…it was and always will be my home and, like they say, home is where the heart is.

Our house had flooded, and all of our things were gone. And that was really hard to see. It was even harder to see my beautiful city

so beaten down… I came home though, and essentially started over. Everything was

different...but at least I was home.

- Kirsten Jorgensen, HDMB contributor

Page 22: Composing  Local Knowledge

“My grandmother's house in Metairie only had two feet of water, but it was still enough to

destroy everything.”-Anonymous HDMB contributor

Page 23: Composing  Local Knowledge

The second time I witnessed my dad crying. My uncle called because he had stopped at our camp on Lake Catherine. This camp has been in our family for 4 generations, and my dad helped my

grandpa and my great-grandpa rebuild it after Hurricane Betsy…

He said it was like them both dying all over again, because all the memories

that he had in that building were gone.

- Anonymous HDMB contributor

Page 24: Composing  Local Knowledge

-Anonymous HDMB contributor

“Before Katrina”

“After Katrina”

Page 25: Composing  Local Knowledge

Everything we owned was gone. I sat on the back porch and cried, and was angry at

the same time… We bought a home in Poplarville, MS., because we wanted to be

as far away from the wreckage as possible…

…I lost my job, my home, my friends, my family, and most of all, a way of life that I had always known. Many people say, just get on with your

life....That would be good, but how do you do that when everything you have ever known is gone in

just a day?

-Lucy Juneau, HDMB contributor

Page 26: Composing  Local Knowledge

Anonymous HDBM contributor

Page 27: Composing  Local Knowledge

Book below found as is post Katrina:

You Won’t Believe Your Eyes

Page 28: Composing  Local Knowledge

The bookshelf in the hallway of my house had completely disintegrated and all of the books were left, scattered and covered in mold. Notice, the only visible book is titled "You Won't Believe Your Eyes." My mom, who took this photo, did not arrange the books that way, and did not even notice

the book, until the picture was developed. This picture is from the inside of my

family's Gentilly Woods home, that was filled with seven feet of water during

Hurricane Katrina.

-Aubrey Cervini, HDMB contributor

Page 29: Composing  Local Knowledge

Conclusions and Implications

Page 30: Composing  Local Knowledge

This picture is of Mr. Al & Mary Polite's home during the dedication ceremony. The

home is on Orleans Ave. and was a joint effort by Project Homecoming, United Way

and Phoenix of New Orleans…

…Volunteers came from all across the country to get the Polites back into their home which they were not able to do themselves do to Al being in

a severe car accident after Katrina and Mary being diagnosed with cancer as a result of the

FEMA trailer that they lived in. Both are currently recovery well.

-Duncan Cheney, HDMB contributor

Page 31: Composing  Local Knowledge

Home CategoriesNormalcyLifestyleFamily


Page 32: Composing  Local Knowledge

When we write we reduce the complexity of the world around us

into ordered lines of prose. It is little different when we place

ourselves. Through the selection and honoring of certain details,

we turn spaces into places

-Jennifer Sinor