Hurricane Katrina SOS Trailer Camps Out at the Capitol

On thursday, Veken and I headed over to Washington, DC for the day and came across a Hurricane Katrina protest/installation-on-wheels/billboard parked in front of the Capitol. I couldn’t resist exploring the provocative looking trailer with large tape lettering on all sides.

I approached the trailer door and asked if it was a performance or something and the individual inside invited us in. She told us that this puny trailer was what most Katrina refugees still call home. It was cramped, dark (and it was a sunny day), depressing and poorly fabricated.

Called the “KatrinaRitaVille Express,” this protest on wheels is something I wish more people would see. Check out their blog and Flickr photostream for more info. Their blog explains:

Several Gulf Coast organizations have purchased two FEMA trailers, which will tour the country over the next year to raise awareness of the ongoing nature of the crisis in the region…the trailers will be used as a focus for local education and organizing, as a challenge to presidential candidates to make their plans for Gulf Coast reconstruction clear, and as a rallying point to help to mobilize…meaningful government action. (source)

Views of the interior of

Important questions and facts raised by the KRVxpress:

  • Where did the $125 billion go?
  • Why does it cost $82,000 to build these crappy trailers?
  • Is anyone going to help the remaining Katrina refugees? ever?

Wouldn’t we all like to know the answers…let’s hope they find out.

Check out the rest of my Flickr pics here.

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Also check out Artopia’s report on the evolving art scene in a post-Katrina New Orleans. An interesting tidbit from the post:

Artists and art students have developed a local style based on the assemblage of Katrina debris. Art types are scooping up vacated shotgun houses here and there, moving ahead, turning some into studios, some into exhibition spaces. Or simply creating guerrilla galleries.

Cross your fingers. Where there’s art there’s hope. The first New Orleans Biennial opens this fall. Dan Cameron, formerly at the New Museum in New York and now the director of the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center, is initiator and commander-in-chief.

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