Editor’s Note: ViaNolaVie, Krewe Magazine, and Bard Early College New Orleans partnered together in an effort to bring voices of the youth into the journalistic realm. Under the guidance of professors Kelley Crawford (Bard Early College and Tulane University) and Michael Luke (Tulane University), a composition course was manifested where students write non-fiction, New Orleans-based pieces, resulting in a printed publication (Krewe magazine) designed and published by Southern Letterpress. We will be publishing each student’s piece that was chosen for the magazine.
It’s hard not to notice a giant bird made of recycled plastic looking out at the water. That “hard not to notice” factor is what artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein are counting on. They created this piece to raise awareness about climate change, and it is an awareness that New Orleanians need to let take flight.
In the city of New Orleans climate change is more than just another hot summer, and artists Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein have installed multiple art exhibits in New Orleans in hopes to make beneficial change. With one of their newest endeavors, Widow’s Walk, they are creating an “…international art project drawing attention to climate change and its effects, such as rising sea levels, threats to ocean and wildlife, and plastic in the waste stream that winds up in our oceans due to overpopulation,” says Dodson.
Anyone who lives on these swampy shores knows that rainstorms and the aftermath of those storms are a constant battle. When our streets flood, they flood with a vengeance, with water levels often coming up to a person’s knees. Not to mention the waste and oil and toxins that have drifted into that water through overturned garbage cans, gasoline cans from garages, and porta-potties that are all over the city. In fact, in the late summer of 2018 my sister, mother, and I were on our way home when it began dangerously pouring rain and flooding. I called my aunt to come pick us up and she said no — she had just gotten inside from driving through the flooding, and water was still seeping through the bottom of her car.
All of these environmental factors hinge on one another. Flooding causes more moisture, which causes an increase in the insect population, which is only further fostered through the city’s intensified heat, and those insects carry harmful diseases. In a way, these cares and concerns seem to harken back to the days of yellow fever, but we should be more advanced than that. Well, at least our artists are trying to help us be more advanced than that.
Dodson and Moerlein’s exhibit the Widow’s Walk aims to bring awareness to the effects of climate change. With the stalwart pieces made of recycled materials, they are hoping to make humans wake-up and realize that their actions have consequences. Because, even though, some geographical areas won’t experience climate change as bad as others, it will eventually be a global problem for both humans, animals, and aquatic species.