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Katrina Exposed -- A Community of Photographs

The faces and the traces of Katrina are the subject of a compelling exhibit of photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art. WAFB's Allen Tumey looks at "Katrina Exposed -- A Community of Photographs."

It's overwhelming. It's wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, 700 photographs of Katrina's destruction. Most were taken by local amateurs. They chronicle the pain of a city where hope for awhile seemed lost.

"We're really trying to understand what Katrina did to us and what it did to the community," says Steven Maklansky, Curator of Photographs at the museum. "Photographs are so important in this process."

Tommy Staub was an unofficial first responder. Every day getting into his boat, moored to a second floor window at his house -- going forth to rescue and to comfort. He has a dozen pictures here, a thousand tragic memories.

"And with the sun setting it's sort of the finality of what's really happening," he says, referring to one picture in particular. "I saw it, and I said, ‘Let's stop the boat. I'm going to take this picture.' And then, of course the tragedy of the dead body. It's a good documentation of what happened."

"It might be that forgetting the past is no way to face the future," Maklansky says.

And the future draws closer. The final image of the exhibit shows the first blossom of spring in the once devastated city park, hopeful of a new beginning.

The Katrina exhibit will be at the Museum of Art through September 17. The companion book of photographs is available at the museum and through Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble at the links above.

This Story Provided by our Sister Station, WAFB-TV/Baton Rouge

Allen Tumey, Reporting atumey@wafb.com

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