Today is a deeply felt day for those of us who survived Katrina, 13 (!) years ago today. My mom and little brother were missing for a week after the storm hit. I documented everything from my first worst fears as she was missing, and then to our rescue efforts, stories of the survivors, and to rebuilding.
Eventually I was totally burnt out by the lows and the highs and the lows again. I can't honestly say I ever fully recovered from the intensity of the effort needed to feel so fully and witness while working and organizing and surviving all at once. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and while that has truth to it, sometimes I feel more inclined to fear that some things do kill us, and it just takes our bodies a while to catch up to the trauma.
I made this portrait about ten days after the storm. We had been without power or water or news. Some roads had opened and we drove up to Jackson Mississippi to stay a night in the closest motel we could find. We turned on the TV news and this was my mom's reaction to seeing what had happened in New Orleans for the first time.
Link to a gallery in my bio, with captions under each image. I'll post more in my stories today too. Take care of each other. We're all we've got.