I feel in some way that I contributed to objectifying the Houma, Native American people during a visit to Grand Bayou, Louisiana on January 8, 2011. That made me sad during my visit. With pride mixed with humility and graciousness, they continue to accept help and support; BP destroyed the Houma’s ecosystem when oil spewed from the ruptured Event Horizon and in turn the latter’s livelihood of fishing, crabbing, and shrimping. The Houma have been reduced to giving tours of the Grand Bayou and inviting strangers like myself into their lovely homes. I thought, what would it be like if I had constant streams of people in my front yard and in my house? I am sad about by the dark grim times faced by these beautiful self-sufficient people.
So I honor the Houma with a few photos in hopes of keeping the Gulf of Mexico on people’s minds. Can I counter BP’s inhumanity in this small way? Can I reverse the lousy under-handed treatment of the Houma fishermen, oyster-men, shrimpers, and their families by BP? That’s a tough one since money promised for lost wages like the presence of the global company in the region has long evaporated.
The disaster is a tragic study in how a global corporation–a story that keeps repeating itself–has exploited and continues to exploit people who only want to live off the land and ocean.
Photos by Dianne Glave