It's been nearly five years since Hurricane Katrina roared on shore just east of New Orleans, causing the failure of the flood protection system in the metro area. In an effort to mourn what was lost and celebrate how far the city has come, memorials are going up across the city, and Tulane is no different.
On Tuesday (Aug. 31) “Katrina Remembered: Five Years Later,” a multimedia exhibit telling the university's story of survival, recovery and renewal, opens in the Lavin-Bernick Center. Via photos, videos and audio recordings with administrators, visitors will be able to glean some sense of what it was like five years ago.
“We knew that what our New Orleans universities were experiencing was unlike anything ever experienced before by an American university,” says Kathryn Hobgood Ray, assistant director of public relations and web communications, whose job it was to organize the exhibit along with Zack Weaver, departmental administrator in the Office of Communications and Marketing. “We started interviewing administrators in spring 2006, when memories were still recent, with rebuilding still under way.”
The look and feel of the exhibit is meant to elicit an emotional response, says graphic design manager Melinda Viles, who created the aesthetics.
“We wanted to try to put people back in that place, then take them to the next level and show them, here's where we were, look how far we've come and look at what we've achieved,” says Viles.
The idea is to document how the university and the city have reinvented themselves with an eye toward history, says Hobgood Ray.
“I hope that when future generations look back at this time in New Orleans' history, they see it as a triumph of the human spirit, and that they are proud of us and what we accomplished together,” says Hobgood Ray.
The exhibit runs from August 31 through September 12 in the James Lounge of the LBC.