Composing Local Knowledge
Embed Size (px)
Transcript of Composing Local Knowledge
Composing Local Knowledge: Hurricane Katrina Survivors Write Home
Composing Local KnowledgeHurricane Katrina Survivors Write HomeComposing 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
How is place recreated through writing for Hurricane Katrina survivors? How is home, arguably the most local of all places, constituted in this work?
What can arts and humanities research bring to research on watery landscapes, flood histories, and environmental change?-AHRC and Living Flood Histories
Expressing Home and Understanding PlacePlace makes a poor abstraction. Separated from its materializations, it has little meaning.
- Clifford Geertz
Anonymous HDMB contributor6Writing, Place, and HealingIn 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.
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
Flooded New OrleansAs 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 experienced. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are the prerequisites both for the restoration of the social orderand for the healing of individual victims.
- Judith Herman
Rescue team marking New Orleanian homeTrauma victims of course feel isolated by their experiences  as they tell their stories they discover that others have been touched by pain as wellcommonality helps to ameliorate the excruciating isolation that is a by-product of trauma.
Anonymous HDMB contributorKatrina 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
Michael Edwards, HDMB contributor
Michael Edwards, HDMB contributorFurniture was scattered everywhere, mold was on everything, and water line marks were on the wallsEverything I owned was ruined and most of my things that held my childhood memories and other memories were gonethis neighborhood once filled with voices and people is now silenced and nothing but air surrounded me 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
National Museum of American History (contact: Hugh Talman, photographer I needed to come home...to New Orleansit 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
My grandmother's house in Metairie only had two feet of water, but it was still enough to destroy everything.
-Anonymous HDMB contributorThe 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 BetsyHe 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
-Anonymous HDMB contributorBefore KatrinaAfter KatrinaEverything 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 possibleI 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
Anonymous HDBM contributor
Book below found as is post Katrina: You Wont Believe Your EyesThe 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 contributorConclusions and Implications
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 contributorHome CategoriesNormalcyLifestyleFamilyMemoriesWhen 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