Colleen Mullins: Elysium: Urban Canopy Loss in Post-Katrina New Orleans at the Hands of Man

There were plenty of sad stories to come out of New Orleans in the months and years after hurricane Katrina. There were the hospitals accused of euthanizing patients they couldn't move, there were whole neighborhoods completely wiped out, and there were conspiracy theories about the levees being intentionally destroyed. But another story wasn't widely told by the mass media: the destruction of trees. Photographer Colleen Mullins took it upon herself to document just how drastic the loss of urban trees was. Her photos, in both black-and-white and color, show trees struggling to survive on city streets, in parks, and in residential neighborhoods. In some places, the trees are covered in rubble at the base, in other places they are simply leveled to create parking lots. Mullins also photographed blocks of trees that the Army Corps of Engineers and power companies destroyed to make room for new power lines. Her photos show New Orleans at an awkward intersection. Several of her photos capture the city on the rebound with construction sites, new houses, and places that appear to be mostly recovered from the catastrophe, but her images also ponder the cost of rebuilding.
Feb. 29-April 11, 2008

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