Inside Hurricane Katrina

 Karl Merton Ferron, The Baltimore Sun, March 2005, Outside the New Orleans Super dome in Louisiana.

This image signifies the struggles that victims of Hurricane Katrina endured.

This photograph captures all the commotion that New Orleans was going through during Hurricane Katrina. Right away we look at the children. There is a baby sleeping on the brick ground. The baby is not even clothed and is just in a diaper. There also is no pillow or covers for the sleeping baby. The only thing the baby has separating itself from the ground is one blanket. Next to the baby is an empty bottle. Also there is garbage surrounding the baby, and coming awfully close to its head. The baby doesn’t seem to mind as it looks peacefully sleeping through a commotion filled event. You can also notice that there is no parents near the baby, which is uncommon to leave a child that young unattended, and also uncommon for a child that fragile to be sleeping on the ground next to garbage. You would think that the bin of garbage or the sprite can would be moved just a little so it wouldn’t be so near the delicate baby, but the parents didn’t think to do that. The second child is older and sitting on a chair. He is eating an apple near the baby so maybe we can infer that he is looking after the baby, which he is still to young to do. The child’s foot is up on a bin filled with garbage, so you can tell he’s comfortable with his garbage filled surroundings acnd making the best of it. The crowds in the background are all just clumped together, so one could infer their all waiting for something important like food, water or direction from authorities on what to do next. There is also a National Guard officer strolling by.

This strong, but truthful image is a clear representation of outside the super dome in Louisiana. You can tell it must have been rough on everybody if no one thinks twice about a baby sleeping on the ground. There is garbage everywhere, meaning mass amounts of people been through those areas, and they have more important things to do then clean up. Also some of the garbage could be debris from the storm. By looking at this you would say most of the people are poor because you could not imagine wealthy people living like this. The children are unattended by adults which could mean two things. 1. Every man for himself because Hurricane Katrina was a life or death kind of situation so why would someone want to have to worry about others. Or 2. Their parents are overwhelmed by the Hurricane and tending to their kids is not their first priority, its getting food and shelter. I find it interesting if the National Guard officer saw the baby, if he would try to put the baby in a safer spot or the officer would think that sight is okay. The crowds of people have been living like cavemen, so they don’t think it’s a big deal if the baby is sleeping there.

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2 comments

  1. I really like the image you chose to represent the struggles of the Hurricane Katrina victims. People tend to have a strong reaction whenever a baby is left alone or put into a harmful situation because they are helpless. There are some grammatical errors throughout the curation (ex: “there is no parents near the baby”). Also, in the description try to stay away from talking about more than what can be seen like when you start to talk about how it is uncommon to leave a child alone. State that the child is unaccompanied by any adults and then talk about how/why this adds to the photo in your interpretation paragraph. Instead of saying ‘you’ or ‘we’ try to use ‘one’ (ex: “you can also notice…”). Also, the second to last sentence in your description paragraph “their all waiting” should be changed to “they’re all waiting”. Good job trying to explain/determine why the baby is alone. It might add to the interpretation if you mention the other child sitting on the chair. What is his role? Is there further discussion now that parents have left or have been taken away from two of their kids?

  2. This image is a very powerful depiction of the struggle and chaos that followed Katrina. Reading a book like Zeitoun can provide a frightening mental image of the events that occurred in and around the stadium but it doesn’t quite prepare you for what it actually looked like. I agree that it is odd that the guard is unaware of the children or ignoring the situation. Another possible explanation for the parent’s location is that one took the photo. You did a great job analyzing the situation but you could always find a little more. I noticed a few grammatical and typographical errors but your points remained clear. I would suggest just a little extra proof reading but overall it is a good analysis.

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