The Challenge

On  the 10th anniversary of the hurricane Katrina, This American Life broadcasted a radio show that interviewed Katrina survivors in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans and how their lives are affected by the natural disaster today. Hurricane Katrina was a terrorizing attack to New Orleans with effects that have rippled through the lives affected even this day. No tactic, plan, or expectation could prepare the Lower 9th Ward for the destruction of hurricane Katrina,and the devastation it caused after. Through this experiences survivors emerged. Using the transcript of this radio show, I designed a book that aims to define these survivors and give credit to the characteristics that forms them.

My Approach

This is a hand-guide to the survival stories of people living in the Ninth Ward, New Orleans. Each chapter is an interview with an individual that lived through the hurricane. At the beginning of each chapter a “survivor kit” is presented featuring items found in the aftermath of Katrina. Through these items, the hurt, trauma, endurance, and hope of the survivor can be further understood.Typographically, the survivor is given the center stage of the book to tell their story guided by questions of the reporter. A symbol system is used throughout the book marking moments in the survivor’s stories that were challenge points, crucial quotes, and a survivor-making moment. At the end of each chapter the reader is encouraged to index these symbols, noting the circumstances around each point. This process encourages readers take a deeper look into the stories of each individual. The hurricane left New Orleanians wondering if they could survive its wake. Enduring a catastrophe of this magnitude is an experience that entitles survivors with more than just sympathy; it requires our respect.