Living By Water, Dying By Water, And Rising Again
Immersed in New Orleans for years before Katrina and after, one photographer’s striking images reveal how the city’s culture sprang from the water and why there was never any doubt it would return.
Interview by Ellyn Kail
Ten years ago this week, the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina broke through the levees of New Orleans, ultimately taking more than 1,800 human lives. California-based photographer Lewis Watts, who had already been documenting New Orleans for over a decade at the time, arrived on the scene about six weeks after the storm hit. He spoke with those who remained, from a woman who had been forced to take an axe to her roof to escape the rising waters, to another who returned and found her father’s home razed to the ground.
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