Photographs by Shawn Walker
Image: Lives Out of Context: A Hurricane of Race
Shawn Walker

This selection of photographs by Shawn Walker provides a snapshot of the new urban landscape New Orleans residents were left with after the flood waters subsided. Images of damaged levees and piles of rubble speak to the physical destruction that resulted, whereas photographs of a hearse driving past a building or of the empty grounds of a closed housing project make reference to the many lost and displaced lives. A hand-made sign atop an impromptu memorial, on the other hand, expresses the frustration felt by those who remain.

Walker is one of ten members of Kamoinge—a New York-based collective of African American photographers—who documented communities ravished by the hurricane and the far-reaching effects on the area's economic, social, and racial fabric. The resulting body of work explores the despair, as well as the hope and resilience, of residents who have lived in these communities for generations.