Cancer Alley is a pollution-ridden petro-chemical corridor located along the Mississippi River, between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Towns in the area have seen dramatic rises in cancer, birth defects, asthma, stillbirths, miscarriages, and neurological diseases. Those affected are predominately African American slave decedents living in communities founded after the Civil War by the Freedmen’s Bureau. Some of these communities have become so polluted that companies have been forced to buy out entire towns, wiping them off the map completely.
I went there to make a body of work that asks us to reckon with our complicity in systemic racism by exploring the harm we inflict on already vulnerable populations with our dependence on petroleum and plastics.