Sara Catania's project chronicles the ongoing effect of Hurricane Katrina on Vietnamese communities in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. During the course of the year, she partnered with reporter Giao Pham at the Vietnamese newspaper Nguoi Viet to produce stories on the struggle for affordable housing in Biloxi, Mississippi, in light of the post-Katrina casino boom; and a battle with FEMA in a predominantly Vietnamese New Orleans East neighborhood over access to a trailer park. When the first taqueria opened in the New Orleans East neighborhood to meet the needs of Latino workers who had begun moving into the area, she wrote a story describing the cultural adjustments underway in the community.
She collaborated with photographer Joseph Rodriguez (also a Katrina Media Fellow) on a photo essay celebrating Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, in New Orleans East; the essay was posted on the New America Media website. An interview with James Dien Bui of the National Association of Vietnamese American Service Agencies was published on the AsianWeek website. A profile of New Orleans recovery czar Ed Blakely appears in the September/October issue of California magazine. Two additional stories on the Vietnamese community are slated for publication in The Believer.