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Katrina Photo Exhibit Takes UK Award

Piper Hanson ’08 recently won first place in an art competition, “Social Worlds, Natural Worlds,” coordinated by the British Sociological Association (BSA), for her photography exhibition Life in the Wake of Katrina.

The exhibition is a collection of photos taken during and just after Hurricane Katrina by residents of St. Bernard Parish, one of the hardest-hit communities in New Orleans. It was first displayed in the Campus Center’s Nolan Art Gallery in February 2007.

Hanson worked as an intern with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an environmental health organization, during the summer following the hurricane. Her job was to sift through a collection of hurricane eye-witness photos and talk with the photographers. Life in the Wake of Katrina includes 300 pictures and has been shown in several galleries.

Life in the Wake of Katrina was projected on a screen, along with other winning entries, during the BSA annual conference at the University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K. 

Hanson’s exhibition was chosen as the winner from among 44 entries from people at 21 different institutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Italy, Russia and the United States.

“The judges were very impressed not only with the way the photographs addressed the conference theme but also with the process of collecting of images from the public that you initiated and the success of the Bucket Brigade in gaining compensation,” said Carol Wolkowitz, Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick, of Hanson’s exhibition.

As winner of the competition, Hanson was awarded 250 British pounds. Winners of Special Commendations were: David Baxter, University of Central Lancashire; Marc  Bush, University of Surrey; Suellen Coles, University College of the Creative Arts, Maidstone; Chris Gornall, University of Northumbria; and Francois Pednault, University of Linz, Austria.

4/16/08   Eric Sean Weld
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