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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Isle de Jean Charles

Early houses on Isle de Jean Charles
made from bousillage (mixture of mud and moss)
no copyright infringement intended

Families have lived there for generations, making their livings on the surrounding waters. Time moves more slowly there, and a person’s sense of home, family and community is deep-rooted.

Isle de Jean Charles is a tiny place deep in the bayous of South Louisiana. From the beginnings it has been an incredible realm of biodiversity. It is now a vanishing island, the scene of an ecological drama. Each hurricane brings narrower the moment when this island will be swallowed by the Gulf of Mexico. The effects of climate change are disastrous everywhere. Here they are just obvious.

An op-doc published in NY Times explores the dramatic realities of this island. The text is along with a ten minute movie. I would name it a great cinematic experience: an elegy for a disappearing paradise, told with dignity and restraint by its inhabitants. The author of the text and movie is Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee.

Here is a link to the text from NY Times:

Isle de Jean Charles, 2014
a documentary directed by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
(video published in NY Times)

A levee system is being built to protect communities along Coastal Louisiana, but will bypass Isle de Jean Charles because the Army Corps of Engineers, as well as the State Restoration Plan has determined it is not cost-effective to extend it to include the island (http://www.isledejeancharles.com/)

(Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee)



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