Capturing The Sorrow And Humor In A Natural Disaster

Photojournalists have always struggled with balancing subject sensitivity with truthful documentation after horrible moments in history. Almost six years ago to the day, the United States was hit by Hurricane Katrina resulting in the most costly natural disaster the country had ever witnessed. Photographer Richard Misrach went down to New Orleans to capture the devastation and the human response from the terrible event. This documentary gives an interesting perspective into the eyes of a photojournalist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's pretty amazing to see both the reoccurring responses from those affected within the community as well as humorous responses after such a life changing event. As a photographer it was also interesting to see how a 4 megapixel point and shoot camera came to be the main storytelling tool throughout Richard's documentary.

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Sean Shimmel's picture


Reminds me of the ancient quote by Terence:"I am a man, therefore nothing human is alien to me."We can all relate to Katrina... hope, fear, fights, exhaustion, grief, giving up, fighting on. Sadness, absurdity.

Werner Rolli's picture

Thanks for this video. I love Richards work and I am grateful for his documentary. I always felt that much of the griev caused by Katrina could somehow have been avoided ... but that's just my opinion, of course, judged on what I saw on TV and heard from friends.

Paul Houston's picture

Great post.  I shot in NOLA post-Katrina and it was a photojournalists dream.  Also go amazing stories of the people would stayed through the storm.