Week Sixteen | Violet, LA to Venice, LA (the End of the World): the last 100 miles

1pm, Thursday, October 29, 2019

Violet, Belle Chasse, Carlisle, Pointe A La Hache, West Pointe A La Hache, Jesuit Bend, Port Sulphur, Empire, Boothville, Venice

COMMUNITY | Shared Threat

Will the levees hold? Will the waters rise? Can I plant this year? Will FEMA arrive? Is my house still standing? Up and down the river, different but the same, the river yeilds a shared threat on its people.

LANDSCAPE | Coastal Louisiana

A landscape that is more water than land. A ghost of land that once was, subsiding, holding fast to memories, icons, identity. A fringe that a people, its people, are holding onto—fighting with everything they’ve got.

VOICE |Brenda Hymes

Justice of the Peace and proud mother and grandmother. Voice gathered on the morning of November 2, 2019 at her home in Port Sulfur, Louisiana.

VOICE | Earl Armstrong

Fondly known as “Mr. Earl” by most in Plaquemines Parish—long time cattle rancher, former oil industry laborer, and native of Pilottown, Louisiana, the last town along the Mississippi. Voice gathered on the afternoon of November 4, 2019 at Earl’s home in Boothville, Louisiana.

VOICE | Blaise Pezold

Coastal and Environmental Program Manager at the Meraux Foundation in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana—and apparently extensive LSU Tiger football expert as well. Voice gathered on the afternoon of October 29, 2019 at Docville Farm in Violet, Louisiana.

The last 100 miles… and we made it to the mouth of the river this week, once again. But this time we were joined by Hurricane Zeta—a not so welcome storm system that swept across southeastern Louisiana, wrecking coastal communities that we have come to love through our time spent downriver last year. Due to this unfortunate timing, many of our coastal friends were unable to join us on this final virtual leg of Zoom sessions. However, James and Alora Madere did find an internet connection while in search for a loaf of bread, and basically stole the show! We quickly got off topic of our presentation as the hour—or was it two hours—wore on, but we were so glad to catch up and see them safe as well.

A few days after this true reunion, Tom and I revisited our presentation and re-recorded the parts of the presentation that were lost to deeper conversation. You’ll see it all edited together below in the Zoom recording. Reflecting on communities of shared threat and the landscape of coastal Louisiana couldn’t have been better timed. It seems the threats are increasing, but the tenacity along the coast also persists.