Antenna::Signals Issue.016::Drainage

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As a city that sits below sea level and is mostly surrounded by water, New Orleans’ relationship to this element will forever be an extremely complex one. These complexities run deep within the city’s multilayered fabric, whether ecologically regarding the roles of structures like the 24 draining pumping stations that work to manage flooding in the city, or historically regarding the surrounding water’s role in the histories of enslaved Africans in the United States. The threat that water has posed to the safety and livelihood of New Orleans residents since the city’s inception is one that will be present regardless of the mechanisms that are put into place – and this perpetual threat manifested in its most destructive manner to date with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This catastrophe changed New Orleans’ literal and cultural landscapes forever and so much of how the city currently exists is based on the results of this storm. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ population was 67% African-American and while standing firmly as the costliest natural disaster in United States history, the arguably even “costlier” result of the hurricane was the 100,000 African-Americans who did not return to the city. This absence has impacted nearly every aspect of the city and has increased the pressure that lies upon the shoulders of New Orleans natives and residents who seek to make sure that the city evolves in an equitable manner. The rapid population growth coupled with gentrification in the city has caused much tension, but 2018 saw the first decline in population since Hurricane Katrina which could have many different implications for the city. Issue 016 of Signals, entitled Drainage, will explore the numerous intersections of identity with the past, present and future of New Orleans’ ecological and cultural sustainabilities while highlighting individuals whose work with water directly influences New Orleans’ residents. [/vc_column_text]