By Simon Dickel and Kindinger
»After the hurricane« strains the cultural and political responses to storm Katrina. instantly after Katrina, and through the earlier 9 years, its devastating effects for the golfing area, New Orleans, and the yankee state were negotiated in progressively more cultural productions – between them Spike Lee's documentary movie »When the Levees Broke«, David Simon and Eric Overmyer's television sequence »Treme«, or Natasha Trethewey's poetry assortment »Beyond Katrina«. This booklet offers interdisciplinary views on those and different negotiations of typhoon Katrina and places distinct emphasis at the intersections of the types race and class.
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Additional resources for After the Storm: The Cultural Politics of Hurricane Katrina
While circumstances enhance Parker’s victimization, the film overturns this image by spotlighting her determination to overcome the barriers on her path: identified as a victim of social injustice since neither her house nor her quarter were taken into account by the local authorities’ initial plans for reconstruction, Parker comes out as a strong character who will fight for her right as an American citizen and as a Christian. In the words of Demme, the film portrays Parker as “a woman who is driven by her vision of social justice, the difference between right 38 | D ELPHINE L ETORT and wrong, how people should be dealt with.
This different logic and aesthetic is further underlined by the film’s visual mode: consciously shot with hand-held cameras on 16-millimeter film R ECYCLING AND S URVIVING IN B EASTS OF THE S OUTHERN W ILD | 51 rather than in a digital format, and aided by its ingenious cinematographer, Ben Richardson, the film finds and transports a rugged beauty that is not stylized but is portrayed as untouched and natural. This alternative of perspectives and values also includes the father-daughterrelationship, which is full of love and care, yet also different from the mainstream’s social branding of parenting when he disappears for days or gives her alcohol to drink.
Departing from Thomas Gray’s Romantic poetry in the early 1740s, especially Gray’s epochal “Elegy,” modernism shifted the focus to the deceased of common origin and “to the events occurring in the mind of the poetic persona contemplating that death. ” (Dolan 1997: 209) Similarly, Stevens turns his elegiac reflection to the obscure, the low, the common, the quotidian, as the poem says: “the janitor’s poems / Of every day, the wrapper on the can of pears, / The cat in the paper-bag, the corset, the box” ( 1997: 184).