Date of Award
Dr. Mary Mitchell
Dr. Connie Atkinson
Dr. Al Kennedy
The Southeast Louisiana landscape sits at the intersection of a number of environmental and humanitarian crises. Violence against man and land endemic to the Plantation Era development of the Lower Mississippi laid the foundation for modern issues of coastal land loss, habitat destruction, pollution, environmental racism, and displacement. Land-use patterns of the Plantation economy made the region optimal for petrochemical processing, turning wetland to wasteland, and plantation to plant. The exhibit Climates of Inequality: Standing Up On River Road uses photography, cinematography, 360-video, and soundscapes to explore the dialogic relationship between fragile natural spaces in southern Louisiana and the historically disenfranchised communities affected by the growth of the petrochemical industry. Tracing the development of the visuals for the exhibit from the lead photographer’s perspective, this paper argues that place-based storytelling and public history research are as vital to the legislative and concrete advancement of environmental justice agendas as scientific research.
McIntire, Ella, "Wetland to Wasteland, Plantation to Plant: The Visual Legacy of Plantations in the South Louisiana Landscape of Environmental Justice" (2020). University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations. 2832.
Available for download on Thursday, December 18, 2025